The Sikh New Year
Sat Sri Akal!
Vaisakhi is a festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community, known as the Khalsa. It is celebrated on April 14 each year.
The Flag Shop is proud to serve its diverse range of clients representing cultural community interests, some of whom we have been working with for many years. Clients celebrating Vaisakhi include Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar, in Abbottsford and Sikh Temple Gurdwara, in Chilliwack. We’ve also had the honour of supplying the Punjabi Market with street banners over the years, to highlight this friendly and colourful district around Main Street and 49th Avenue, and we hear they will be hosting their own Vaisakhi parade, too!
The History of Vaisakhi
On Vaisakhi day in 1699, a guru named Gobind Singh called Sikhs from all across India to the city of Anandpur Sahib. At this gathering, the guru called upon Sikhs to uphold their faith and preserve the Sikh religion. Guru Gobind Singh lifted his sword and asked anyone prepared to give his life for his faith to come forward. One Sikh came forward and followed the guru into a tent. Shortly after, the guru reappeared alone, carrying a sword covered in blood. He asked again. Another Sikh stepped forward. Again, the guru took him into the tent, and reappeared alone, with his sword covered with blood. This was repeated until five Sikhs had offered up their lives in the name of their faith. In the end, the guru emerged from the tent with five men dressed regally in blue. Guru Gobind Singh called the five Sikhs the Panj Pyare: the Five Beloved Ones.
Panj Pyare. Photo © [S Khalsa] / Source: www.thoughtco.com
The Five Beloved Ones were the first members of the new Sikh community, called the Khalsa. Khalsa men took the surname of Singh (meaning lion) to represent courage and women took on the surname Kaur (meaning princess) to emphasize dignity.