While Sikhs usually celebrate Vaisakhi in the middle of April, there were several celebrations around the country that took place on the April 30 – May 1 weekend, and we are given the opportunity to read the local coverage about these celebrations:
“Free Meals at Sikh Day Festival on Madison Ave. ” – New York’s “Sikh Day Parade” was covered by the New York Times, who unfortunately was more enraptured by the concept of free food than the opportunity to educate their readership on Sikhs and Sikhism. Nonetheless, I’m sure New York’s Sikhs appreciated some positive news in the aftermath of the Queens, NY Gurdwara debacle.
“Celebrating Vaisakhi: Peaceful to the core; Anderson Sikh Centre spreads message of nonviolence” – California’s Sikh community around the northern city of Redding celebrated Vaisakhi with an interfaith flavor, and while we often celebrate the formalization of Sikhism’s military character on Vaisakhi, this celebration focused on nonviolence and interfaith harmony – also fundamental beliefs of Sikhism.
“Marysville Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi” – North of Seattle in Washington state is the city of Marysville. Its Sikh community, centered around the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, also celebrated Vaisakhi on this weekend and the coverage of this event certainly took a more educational tone. The celebration was also covered by the local news outlet The Herald.
The next major event on the Sikh calendar will be in June, when Sikhs celebrate the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun, in 1606, and also commemorate the infamous Operation Bluestar, which was the codename for the attack on Darbar Sahib (aka the Golden Temple) by the Indian army in 1984.