Indy Hothi
Indy Hothi, a member of the Sikh steering group

What is Vaisakhi?

25 April 2017

On 29 April, Vaisakhi takes place in Trafalgar Square. Indy is one of the event organisers. He tells us what Vaisakhi is all about…

Vaisakhi is one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar. It represents the establishment of the Khalsa Panth (Nation) by the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699. A principle passed on by Guru Gobind Singh Ji was recognising the whole human race as one – regardless of faith, background, gender etc. For many Vaisakhi represents the birth of the Sikh identity.

Specifically, Vaisakhi is marked by a Nagar Kirtan. This is a procession of the Sikh community from one gurdwara (temple) to another. It often features spiritual hymns, langar (food) and Gatka, a Sikh martial art.

This year’s celebration in Trafalgar Square is a great opportunity to learn about Sikh heritage and history. It’s a chance to share our arts and culture. There will also be community organisations and charities, with themes such as education, history, social welfare, Sikhs in uniform and professional networks.

I’m really excited about the arts showcase. Sikhism has a long history in the arts from music to visual arts to poetry it’s a great opportunity to share a wide spectrum of that. I’m responsible for curating the exhibitions and am working with local artists to create a platform to share their work.  Vaisakhi is a great opportunity to share Sikh culture, history and values with London. I hope to see you there!

Vaisakhi Festival takes place 12noon until 6pm on Saturday 29 April - find out more