Prince George Celebrates Vaisakhi
Prince George, B.C. – Members of the Sikh community in Prince George were joined by fellow Sikhs from across northern B.C. and other parts of the province, as well as non-Sikhs, in celebrating Vaisakhi on Saturday.
Vaisakhi is the Sikh New Year festival, harvest time and also commemorates the year 1699 in which Sikhism was born as a religion. Celebrations include the chanting of scriptures, hymns, music and singing and a very colourful parade which is led by the Panj Piare, or Beloved Five, who are baptized into Sikhism and walk the entire procession barefooted.
Prayers and religious aspects of the celebration were held at the Guru Nanak Darbar temple on Davis Road and following that, the Nagar Kirtan procession made its way along Ospika Boulevard to the CN Centre parking lot for announcements, displays and entertainment.
There is also a great deal of food which is prepared throughout the week leading up to the Vaisakhi celebration and is offered, without charge, to all who gather to take part in the festivities. The food booths set up at CN Centre offered samosa, Golgappa, sweets, pizza, refreshments and other items..
The Golgappa consists of a round, hollow puri and is filled with things like potato and beans and chutney. It is excellent for the digestive system, as was a liquid that was on hand at the same tent. For this festival the Golgappa was donated and prepared by it was prepared by a large group of drivers from Prince George Taxi. The same 30 shareholders and approximate 100 drivers last week donated $5,000 to the people of fire-ravaged Fort McMurray and next week are sending food supplies to the Alberta town as well.
Local political dignitaries and other residents of the city took the opportunity to join the Sikh community members and learn about one of the most important events on their calendar, Vaisakhi.