Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade 2012 – April 14, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade 2012 - April 14, 2012

Celebrate Sikh culture and tradition at the 2012 Vaisakhi Parade in Vancouver, British Columbia!

One of the largest parades of its kind in Canada, the Vaisakhi Parade celebrates the beginning of the new solar year, harvest season and the establishment of Khalsa in 1699. The celebration brings over 100,000 people to the festivities which includes music, gifts, food, singing and dancing.

Take part and watch the traditional and cultural celebrations at the Vaisakhi Parades in Vancouver and Surrey, British Columbia!

What is Vaisakhi?

Vaisakhi, as well as being the first month of the Sikh year, is a time to remember when Guru Gobind Singh Ji began the Khalsa. Guru Gobind Singh Ji our tenth Guru, the creator of the Khalsa Panth was a saint, soldier and a great philosopher. Throughout his life he professed the word of God, of His grace and of His unity.

At the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Sikhs were being persecuted and killed for their faith and for what they believed in. History teaches that whenever tyranny, oppression and suffering run riot in the world, God sends a true saint to see justice prevail. Guru Ji’s followers would come to him and tell him of the injustices they were facing at the hands of Mughal soldiers, how they were being robbed, assaulted and how their children and families were being slaughtered before their very eyes. Having listened to and watched the misery of his followers, Guru Ji decided that the only way to resolve such pain was to form themselves into a fighting force and defend their faith.

At the time of the spring festival of Vaisakhi in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh Ji called all the Sikhs to Anandpur Sahib. He made them realise that they had the power within themselves to stand upright and fend for their religion and beliefs. He, along with all the other Guru’s all came to the world to make us aware of the kindness and unity of Waheguru and to rid the world of hate, prejudice and fear and to learn to live in harmony with our brothers and sisters.

He then asked if anyone was willing to die for their faith, no one answered, so he repeated his question, “Is there any one of you who will give his head to prove his faith in me?” the crowd were astonished at such a request. Then, one man came forward, Daya Ram, the Guru took him into his tent. There was a thud, and the Guru returned with a blood stained sword. The gathered crowd was terrified on his arrival, he asked the question again “Is there any other true Sikh of mine who will willingly offer his head?” Nobody dared to reply. Guru Ji repeated his call a second and third time. Then Dharam Das came forward prepared to die for his religion, the same thing happened again, a thud was heard and people saw a stream of blood coming from the tent. Guru Ji then reappeared and asked for another Sikh who was prepared to give his head for his faith, at this point the crowd were terrified, and some started to walk away. But, even so Mokham Chand walked forward and offered his head. In the same fashion, two others, Sahib Chand and Himmat Rai placed their heads at the Guru’s feet. Everyone thought the Guru had killed the five men and some thought he had gone mad, but after the fifth man, the Guru returned walking alongside all the five men. They were dressed in yellow robes just like his own. Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji named them the Panj Piare they were to be the first members of a new group.

Image: BruceK

James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email james@hellovancity.com

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