Sikhs in Canada and around the world celebrate Vaisakhi. Since 1699 Vaisakhi has been a central Holy Day for Sikhs, who celebrate the establishment of the Khalsa by Guru Gobind Singh, the last of the “Ten Gurus” of Sikhism.
The majority of Canadians who trace family connections to India are part of the Sikh faith, although Hinduism is the majority religion of India. Hindus in Canada and around the world also celebrate Vaisakhi. Also rendered Baisakhi, the holiday has long been observed by Hindus as the celebration of the solar New Year, and a harvest festival, for the people of the Punjab and other regions of north-west India. In fact Indians and people of Indian heritage from many faiths, including Muslims, Christians and even non-religious people, as well as Sikhs and Hindus, celebrate Vaisakhi.
Vaisakhi is generally celebrated on April 13 or 14, although some sources also suggest April 15 for 2021. Vaisakhi Parades in Canada are traditionally held on the nearest Saturday.
Vaisakhi parades and other gatherings and festivals have long been a highlight of the year for the Sikh communities of Surrey, Vancouver and other parts of Canada. Sadly, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of Vaisakhi parades in 2021.
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