Traditional Sikh Vaisakhi march in Manchester

By Iram Ramzan

Sikhs across the North West gathered in large numbers in central Manchester to participate in a Vaisakhi march on Sunday.

Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) celebrates the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa.

On this day, Sikh men, women and children wear traditional (and colourful) Punjabi clothes to commemorate this historical event, and follow a float upon which the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, is carried, alongside community leaders singing religious songs.

Vaisakhi also traditionally concurs in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent with the first harvesting of the crops for the year, so it is a joyous occasion for all.

Vaisakhi day goes back to 1699, when Guru Gobind Singh summoned Sikhs from all over India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, the Guru called upon Sikhs to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion.

Suret Singh, 43, came from Hull to join in the festivities along with his children, as he wants them to learn about the Sikh culture and religion.

He said: “It’s so the young can keep up with their faith.”

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