Head down to Trafalgar Square to enjoy our Vaisakhi festival, a celebration of Sikh and Punjabi tradition, heritage and culture, in commemoration the birth of the Khalsa (the inner core of the Sikh faith) over 300 years ago.
With our committed Sikh steering group creating the programme, you can expect authentic community appeal and something for everyone to enjoy, young and old alike.
We have an exciting stage programme lined up for you, presented by Harjap Bhangal, who you’ll recognise from MATV Sky channel’s show Legal Solutions and Harpz Kaur from BBC Asian Network.
There’ll be fun activities for all, including the chance to wear a turban, do arts and crafts, have a go at hilarious sports activities and experience bit of history made theatrical thrown in! Plus we have one of the biggest exhibitions of Sikh art in the country.
There’s free light bites and Indian tea (Langar) and you can buy tasty Indian vegan with diary street food at our Dosa Deli truck! Plus why not sample our delicious fresh coconut milk, fruit smoothies, mocktails and sugar cane juice with our tasty drinks stalls.
Our Vaisakhi festival friends and contributors will all be there too so come and meet them!
- Lehmber Hussainpuri – an internationally recognised pop singer, performing songs from his albums 2009 Chal Chaliye Maiyea De and 2010 Ho Rahi E Jee Teri Jai Jai Kaar
- Golden Roots - a novel London-based band, fashioned to deliver the rich dharmic and cultural songs of the Punjab
- Manvir Singh Mani - a rising star and recent finalist on the Voice Of Punjab, accompanied by classical instruments
- Qi Rattan – Amritpal Singh and Jagdeep Kaur, a husband and wife duo who released their debut album in Tarang in 2013. Since then they’ve gone on to become household names, popular for their soothing devotional music
- Ustad Kirpal Singh- Tar- Shehnai and dilruba performer, accompanied by Master Panesar Classical Jori
- Community music performances and spoken word from Attam Academy and Khalsa Secondary School
- Gatka demonstrations from Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara
- Special Guest appearances to wish us all Happy Vaisakhi!
*Show times will be added shortly
Art exhibition by Sikh artists from around the world, with a focus on women.
Here’s a taster:
Image by Mr A Singh
Turban tying – come and get your very own turban tied by the Chardikala Turban Academy and learn all about the tradition of turban wearing. Mark our words – half of the city will be wearing them!
Arts and Crafts reflecting the traditions of Sikhism with Kiddie Sangat.
Remember Together a project of displays, chats, and activities presented by Big Ideas, highlighting the historic contributions made by India to the war effort. This will include: Remember RAF100 marking the contribution of Indian pilots in the First World War for the RAF centenary; Trailblazers WWI Inspirational Women; Unremembered 2018 - WWI Army of Workers; and a chance to add your own thoughts and wishes to the Remembrance Tree.
National Army Museum with their very own costumed mini Sikh Army re-enactment troop (beware they don’t enlist you in their photo op march arounds!), and displays of original archived materials and objects to take you back in time to WWI and beyond (photo albums, prayer books, uniforms and equipment like ration kits).
Mini Olympics – fun competitive sports games for all the family with commentary by comedian Charlie Partridge.
Have a go Gatka – try out for yourself this unique martial art, developed in India and used to great effect by the Sikh warriors during their rise from a minority group to an empire stretching at its height stretched from the borders of Afghanistan to New Delhi.
Across the whole Square Vaisakhi will be hailing our #BEGC (Behind Every Great City) campaign that marks the centenary of the first women in the UK winning the right to vote, and is driving forward gender equality across the city today.
We will be celebrating the theme of influential women, including recognising the role of Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh in the Suffrage Movement.
British Sikh Report
Faiths Forum London
Network of Sikh Organisations
Sikh to Inspire
Basics of Sikhi
A little history of the Sikhs
Health and Wellbeing
British Organisation of Sikh Doctors
Look after yourself
NHS Blood and Transplant
Volunteer at Vaisakhi 2018
Waheguruji Ka Khalsa Waheguruji Ki Fateh.
Please join us in volunteering and supporting the Mayor of London’s 2018 Vaisakhi celebrations at Trafalgar Square on Saturday 28 April from 1pm to 6pm.
Volunteers can help out for a half day (morning 10am to 2pm, or afternoon 2pm to 6pm) or for the full day. People who can attend the whole day will be prioritised as they will lead the volunteering activity groups.
There be a volunteer briefing on the evening of Tuesday 17 April in London Bridge.
Vaisakhi will be celebrated in the heart of central London to mark one of the most important and significant events in the Sikh calendar. In recent years, the event has built a strong community focus, with the active participation of a Sikh steering group to help develop and guide the event. This community-led approach will continue in 2018 at Trafalgar Square, with a lively and varied programme for people of all ages, at one of the capital’s most iconic locations.
At this year’s Vaisakhi in the Square, we are expecting audiences of over 25,000 throughout the day.
If you wish to be involved, please reply by email to [email protected] stating:
- your name
- mobile phone number
- whether you can volunteer morning/evening/whole day
- confirmation that you can attend the evening briefing on 17 April
- the name of any organisation you represent
- any particular skill or experience you have (for example, runner/catering/stage management)
We will need lots of volunteers this year, and would welcome your support. Thank you!
Regardless of whether or not you can volunteer with us, we hope to see you on Saturday 28 April at Trafalgar Square.
Access and transport
Accessible facilities at Trafalgar Square:
- there is a wheelchair accessible lift on the north-west corner of Trafalgar Square
- event stewards will be available to assist wheelchair users travelling between upper (north terrace) and lower terrace levels of Trafalgar Square
- wheelchair accessible public toilets are available on the lower terrace of Trafalgar Square. This is on the west side of the square to the left of the central staircase. These are open daily from 8am to 8pm. On event days the toilets are available free of charge
- Trafalgar Square’s cafe is wheelchair accessible and has a low-level counter and induction loop. Free drinking water is available upon request in the cafe
Additional accessible facilities for Vaisakhi:
- all staff and stewards will be briefed on disability awareness
- the wheelchair accessible viewing area will be on the North Terrace, at the top of the central staircase. Some seating will be available for companions in the wheelchair viewing area, and for those less able to stand. An area with hearing loop will be available
- BSL signers will be on the stage to interpret the spoken word content
- assistance dog welfare area will be available next to the lift, on the upper North Terrace on the west side
- on the north west corner of Trafalgar Square (on the upper terrace) a Mobiloo wheelchair accessible portable toilet will be provided
- the mobile toilet has a hoist and changing table. Mobiloo users needing to use the hoist must bring their own sling with them. This is for your own safety and convenience – and to prevent any cross-contamination between different users. Further details on the Mobiloo website. https://www.mobiloo.org.uk/
- you can plan your journey with TfL’s Journey Planner
- the nearest railway station is Charing Cross. It is 325 metres away, approximately 3 minutes’ walk. Charing Cross rail station offers step-free access and a step-free route to Trafalgar Square
- the nearest Underground station with step-free access from platform to street level is Westminster. This is served by the Jubilee, District and Circle lines. Outside Westminster station buses 12, 24, 88 or 453 have low-floor buses which call at a stop within 150m of Trafalgar Square
- Charing Cross Underground station is served by the Northern and Bakerloo lines. It is the closest Tube station. However it does not have step-free access
- visit the TfL website for accessible Tube maps
- routes 3, 6, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 23, 24, 53, 77A, 88, 91, 139, 159, 176 and 453.
- all these routes lead to Trafalgar Square. However, 9 and 15 are heritage buses and do not have a low-floor.
- visit the TfL website for more information on buses
- find out about registering and pre-booking Dial-a-ride services
The nearest Blue Badge parking spaces to Trafalgar Square are:
- St Martin’s Street – five spaces - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
- outside Canada House – one space - 33 metres from Trafalgar Square
- Suffolk Street – one space - 644 metres from Trafalgar Square
- Spring Gardens – one space - 321 metres from Trafalgar Square
- to find other blue badge parking bays nearby, use the postcode WC2N 5DN and search the City of Westminster’s website
- to see where the bays are, click the ‘View results on a map’ button on the search results page