The Sikh Society of Regina’s sixth annual Vaisakhi celebration began Sunday with a large parade to the provincial legislature that was followed by festivities in Wascana Park.
“We celebrate this occasion every year in the honour of our tenth guru,” explained Manmeet Singh, executive member of the Regina Sikh Society.
Vaisakhi is a celebration of the spring harvest for many of India’s diverse cultural groups. The occasion is marked by community gatherings with lots of food as well as cultural and religious performances.
“The term we use here is Nagar Kirtan. Nagar means ‘city,’ and Kirtan means to ‘sing praises of the Lord,’ so we do it every year,” said Singh.
“We come together as a community, we get together on the streets of our city and we thank the god for getting us here and helping everyone through it.”
The Sikh Society was forced to cancel its celebrations in 2020 and postpone the event till August in 2021.
However, even with these disruptions, the event continues to grow year after year.
“We’ve got a way larger community, we’ve got delegates from Calgary and Toronto,” Singh said.
Among the hundreds of people celebrating on the legislative grounds was Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal. He called the celebration a “beautiful gathering.”
“It’s an important time of year, celebrating our culture and our religion,” said Chahal. “And with the Nagar Kirtan, it’s to display to the community the importance of Sikhism and Vaisakhi.”
Singh and the rest of the Sikh Society hope the event becomes something everyone can enjoy.
“We hope in the future that everyone in Regina can come celebrate this day with us.”