Vaisakhi
This event has already taken place.

Celebrate Vaisakhi

12:00pm to 5:00pm
Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom
Free of charge

Head down to Trafalgar Square to enjoy our Vaisakhi festival, a celebration of Sikh and Punjabi tradition, heritage and culture, commemorating 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.

 

There’ll be fun activities for all, including the chance to wear a turban, do arts and crafts and experience bit of history and culture made theatrical!

 

Learn more about Gatka – catch a demonstration of 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, which at its height stretched from the borders of Afghanistan to New Delhi.

 

As you enjoy the taste of traditional food and Indian tea (offered to visitors as per the tradition of Langar, the community kitchen in a Gurdwara where all visitors are offered a meal to feed their physical hunger), learn more about the origins of Langar at the cooking demo – and take home some easy recipes of commonly cooked dishes.

 

Come Celebrate with us - Happy Vaisakhi!

Kirtan

Kirtan refers to devotional singing in Sikhism. It is typically performed at Gurdwaras (Sikh temples). Sikh scriptures and legends are usually recited in a song, to a certain raga and accompanied with musical instruments.

 

Time    Activity

 

12:00   Welcome and Introduction

 

12:05   Khalsa Trust Academy - Children's music performance

 

13:05   Bhai Sukhjinder Singh Jatha

 

13:50   Gurmat Sangeet Academy

 

14:40   Taren Kaur

 

15:20   Qi Rattan – Kirtan

 

16:10   Rajinder Kaur

 

16:40   Ik Jatha

Langar

Langar is the term used in Sikhism for the community kitchen in a Gurudwara where a free meal is served to all the visitors, without distinction of religion, caste, gender, economic status or ethnicity. The free meal is always vegetarian. People sit on the floor and eat together, and the kitchen is maintained and serviced by Sikh community volunteers.

 

Our Vaisakhi langar is offered by Mor Foods, the Sikh Empowerment Voluntary Association (SEVA) and volunteers at Central Gudwara Khalsa Jatha Shepherd’s Bush and Gudwara Dasmesh Darbar in East London

Langar Demo

Demonstrations will run on how to prepare Sikh dishes traditionally offered as langar and promoting sustainability in terms of minimising food waste and encouraging the use of organic produce. Sponsored by Khalsa Jatha and Mor Foods.

 

 

Food Demo by Chef Manpreet Singh taking place at the following times:

 

12:00, 12:40, 13:20, 14:00, 14:40, 15:20, 16:00, 16:40, 17:20

 

Talk/Parchaar by Basics of Sikhi taking place at the following times:

 

12:20, 13:00, 13:40, 14:20, 15:00, 15:40, 16:20, 17:00, 17:40

 

Storytelling / Spoken word

Time                            Artist                                                                Activity                        

 

12:00                           Welcome and Introduction

 

12:10                           Ruby Dhal                                                        Spoken Word Poetry

 

12:21                           Jaspreet Kaur (Behind the Netra)                     Spoken Word Poetry

 

12:34                           Roop Singh                                                      Story of Vaisakhi

 

13:14                           Sardana Arts (Amritpal Singh)                         Sikh Music Tutorial

 

14:04                           Ruby Dhal                                                        Spoken Word Poetry

 

14:15                           Jaspreet Kaur (Behind the Netra)                     Spoken Word Poetry

 

14:28                           Roop Singh                                                      Story of Vaisakhi

 

15:08                           Gurmat Sangeet                                              Sikh Music Tutorial

 

15:58                           Ruby Dhal                                                        Spoken Word Poetry

 

16:09                           Jaspreet Kaur (Behind the Netra)                     Spoken Word Poetry

Gatka - Sikh Martial Arts

Gatka is the name of an Indian martial art associated with the Sikhs of the Punjab region. It is a style of stick fighting, with wooden sticks intended to simulate swords. The Punjabi name gatka properly refers to the wooden stick used. The word originates as a diminutive of Sanskrit gada "mace".

 

Gatka can be practiced either as a sport (khel) or ritual (rasmi). The sport form is played by two opponents wielding wooden staves called gatka. These sticks may be paired with a shield. Points are scored for making contact with the stick. The other weapons are not used for full-contact sparring, but their techniques are taught through forms of training. The ritual form is purely for demonstration and is performed to music during occasions such as weddings, or as part of a theatrical performance like the chhau dance. A practitioner of gatka is called a gatkabaj.

 

Performance timings are: 13:35, 14:25, 15:55

Turban Tying

Come and get your very own turban tied by the Chardikala Turban Academy and learn all about the tradition of turban wearing.

 

 

Art Exhibition

A display by Sikh artists from around the world

Children's Activity

  • Making Sikh Puppets
  • Variety of Sikh Colouring Sheets
  • Punjabi Calligraphy
  • Character Mosaic designs
  • Colourful Mala Ring Making
  • Khanda Mandela Canvas designs
  • Vaisakhi Card Decorating

Trading, Community and Charity Stalls

  • Binti International
  • British Sikh Report
  • City Sikhs and Organ Sewa
  • Jaskomal Foundation
  • Khalsa Aid
  • Kundalini Yoga Teachers
  • My Saree Shop
  • NHS Blood
  • Omaxe Property
  • Opera Sarovar
  • Pam’s Creations
  • Panjabi Suit Shop
  • Pingalwara Charity
  • Satori Accessories
  • Sikh Relief
  • SWAT Youth
  • Team Sharan
  • Trendy Taste

Access and Transport

Accessible facilities at 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 will be open and free of charge during the event
  • Trafalgar Square’s cafe is wheelchair accessible and has a low-level counter and induction loop. Free drinking water is available at the east side water drinking fountain

Accessible transport

 

You can plan your journey with TfL’s Journey Planner

 

Bus

  • 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

Tube

  • 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

National Rail

  • 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

Dial-a-ride:

  • Find out about registering and pre-booking Dial-a-ride services                                                                       

Accessible parking

 

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, please search the City of Westminster’s website using the postcode WC2N 5DN.

 

To see where the bays are, click the ‘View results on a map’ button on the search results page

 

Additional accessible facilities for Vaisakhi: 

  • All staff and stewards will be briefed on disability awareness
  • Event stewards will be available to assist wheelchair users travelling between the upper (north terrace) and the lower terrace levels of Trafalgar Square
  • The wheelchair accessible viewing area will be by the west side fountain near the bottom of the central staircase. Some seating will be available for companions the viewing area, and for those less able to stand. An area with hearing loop will be available
  • A Mobiloo wheelchair accessible portable toilet will be provided on the north west corner of Trafalgar Square (on the upper terrace). 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 can be found on the Mobiloo website: https://www.mobiloo.org.uk/

   

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