A Brief write up on Vaisakhi - An Important Sikh Holiday - celebrated on April 14th

  


Scene of Vaisakhi celebration in Vancouver, Canada

Following is a brief write up on Vaisakhi - the day of the founding of the institution of Khalsa. This can be shared with school teachers or workplace colleagues. The language and the information is deliberately chosen to comply with church/state issues in America. It is also designed to provide basic information.

Please feel free to edit to suit your own needs. We must share this information with our friends and colleagues to create more awareness about our faith tradition. We also urge Sikh families to take a day off from work to spend with your kids and loved ones reflecting upon the significance of this important day. Every religious community in America celebrates its own holidays and they take a day off from work. This will be another way to educate others about our own community.

May we all feel connected to our Beloved Guru during this day,

Sincerely,

Sikh Council on Religion and Education

(www.sikhcouncilusa.org)

202 460 0630

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Vaisakhi - A Sikh Religious Holiday

Vaisakhi is an important Sikh festival. It falls on April 14 and celebrates the founding of the institution of Khalsa in 1699 which made the current outer identity of the Sikhs – unshorn hair and beard and a head covering – as a mandatory part of their faith. In addition, members of the Sikh faith were ordered to adopt the additional name of Singh, meaning lion, or Kaur, meaning princess symbolizing equality, and to follow a code of conduct, which Sikhs still uphold today, practicing equality, kindness, courage, steadfastness, and leadership. The Khalsa was created by the founders of Sikhism to encourage people to stand up for their own civil rights and religious freedom for all.

Today, Vaisakhi is celebrated by Sikhs all over the world as a religious and social occasion. They go with their families to the Gurdwara (the Sikh place of worship) to sing hymns, and to read the Sikh Holy Book, Guru Granth Sahib. Processions and feasting follow readings of the Holy Scripture. Vaisakhi brings together people of all backgrounds in a congregation in the spirit of love and respect.

Vaisakhi is both sacred and secular, which encourages everyone to congregate, meet and mix amid festivity and pageantry. Vaisakhi is, at its simplest, a time to rise above prejudices and join in the unique celebration of life. It embodies, at a deeper level, the concept of cyclical regeneration as in all harvest festivals.



  


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