Birmingham's Vaisakhi festival a hit

By on 26/04/2010 in Culture, News

A staggering 90,000 people visited the Birmingham's Vaisakhi celebrations in Handsworth Park on Sunday April 25 - a 10,000 increase on the previous high.

One of the largest Vaisakhi festivals in the world, the Birmingham events attracts people from across the Midlands and beyond.

And, Cllr Martin Mullaney, Chairman of the Birmingham Cultural Partnership, said: “Once again this was a fantastic event, as I'm sure the many people attending would agree.

“The Vaisakhi festival is one of the many annual cultural highlights here in Birmingham when people from communities across the city come together - in this case to celebrate a very important date for people of the Sikh faith.

“As part of a calendar of diverse community events it is a great example of why Birmingham has been shortlisted for  UK City of Culture 2013.”

The event opened with two huge processions setting off from Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) in Hockley and Smethwick.  

The processions were led by five Sikhs in traditional dress they were  followed by thousands of other Sikhs from local congregations and at the head of each procession was the Holy Scriptures of Revelation - referred to as the living Guru Granth Sahib.

There was a fantastic festive atmosphere at Handsworth Park from 11am, with live music, entertainment, Punjabi food and craft stalls. 

Vaisakhi marks the formation of the Sikh nation or Khalsa Panth in 1699.  The five Sikhs leading each procession represent the original Panj Pyare (Beloved Ones) who were the first to join the Sikh order over 300 years ago.

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