Well into the month of April, Sikhs across the country are continuing to celebrate Vaisakhi, one of the most significant dates on the Sikh calendar. This weekend saw Vaisakhi festivities take place on the east coast, mid-west and west coast.
Last Saturday, thousands of Sikhs assembled in New York City for their 26th annual Sikh Day Parade:
The Sikh community brought color and culture to Manhattan’s Madison Square Park on Saturday.
Parade-goers marched under brilliant sunshine to celebrate Vaisakhi Day, a holiday that marks the birth of Sikh society, as well as the day farmers give thanks for their harvests.
Some marchers were in a celebratory mood, while others used the occasion as a time to call for attention to specific causes.
In Lansing, Michigan (80 miles west of Detroit), the fairly young Sikh community also held a “Sikh Day” event on Saturday:
The day’s sunshine accentuated the bright colors of the robes and ethnic garbs worn by the hundreds of Sikhs who attended the celebration from across Michigan and surrounding states.
And, finally, in the Pacific Northwest (where many of the first Sikhs settled at the turn of the 20th century), the Sikh community in Lynden, Washington commemorated Vaisakhi with a Nagar Kirtan and “open house”:
There are some 2,500 Sikhs living in Whatcom County. Many Sikhs in Whatcom County are berry farmers growing some 100 million pounds of berry crop annually. Sikhs are very apt business people and run a variety of businesses in the Pacific Northwest such as trucking, motels and gas stations. They are also professional engineers, nurses and doctors.
These are not the last large celebrations in the United States to take place. In northern California, the community in Redding, California, will be holding their Vaisakhi Festival this Saturday, May 4.
More about the significance and history of Vaisakhi is available here.