Vaisakhi 2010 in Metro Vancouver

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With tens of thousands in attendance each year, Vaisakhi is one of the region’s largest annual cultural celebrations. Vancouver and Surrey will host events April 8th, 10th and 17th.

Photo credit: cozy on Flickr

Vaisakhi (vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi) is an ancient harvest festival in Punjab, which also marks beginning of a new solar year, and new harvest season. Baisakhi also has religious significance for Hindus and Sikhs. It falls on the first day of the Vaisakh month in the solar Nanakshahi calendar, which corresponds to April 14 in the Gregorian calendar.

Vaisakhi is one of the most significant holidays in Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa in 1699; which marks the Sikh New Year. It also is observed as the beginning of the new year by Indians in West Bengal, Kerala, and some other regions of India. –

Vancouver’s Vaisakhi parade will take place April 10th at 10am, departing the Ross Street Temple and heading up to Main street at 49th. There is a Meetup group if you would like to meet up with others to enjoy the festivities and parade at 11:00am that day.

From the wall of the Meetup group: “One of the best things about Vaisakhi is the food. Every Punjabi restaurant and house along Main Street offers free food to passersby. I rolled my way along Main sampling untold varieties of curried chick peas, pakoras, samosas, Kashmiri chai, and other delights. Little kids shoved bags of candy into my hands, not the other way around!”

Street Closures in Vancouver will include:

  • Westbound traffic on Southeast Marine Drive, from Ross to Main Street
  • Main Street from Marine Drive to 49th Avenue
  • 49th Avenue from Main to Fraser
  • Fraser Street, from 49th to 57th Avenue
  • East 57th from Fraser to Ross
  • Ross Street from East 57th to Southeast Marine Drive
  • The Vancouver Aquarium is also hosting Vaisakhi Day celebrations April 10th and 11th. They will have Bhangra dance performances, aquatic-themed henna tattoos, and complimentary samosas (served daily from 11am while supplies last).

    Photo credit: cozy on Flickr

    With over 19% of the population being Sikh, this is one of the city’s largest annual events.

    The Vaisakhi 2010 Gala takes place April 8th at the Bombay Banquet Hall in Surrey. This will also host the 8th annual turban tying contest [cknw].

    The parade will be April 17th and will begin at the Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple (12885 85th Ave). The usual route is between 124th and 128th streets, then 72nd and 88th avenues (I have no confirmation on this for the 2010 event).

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