Surrey, British Columbia Vaisakhi parade attracts Sikhs worldwide

Surrey, B.C., Vaisakhi parade draws Sikhs from around the world

“Over half a million people flooded the streets of Surrey, B.C., on Saturday for the largest Vaisakhi parade in the world. This vibrant celebration, marking the creation of the order of the Khalsa in 1699, resonated with Sikhs from all corners of the globe and welcomed individuals of diverse cultures to partake in joyous festivities. From colourful processions to the practice of serving free meals in acts of seva and langar, Vaisakhi exemplifies unity, compassion, and religious significance.

The Heartwarming Spirit of Vaisakhi:

The Surrey Khalsa Day Vaisakhi Parade commenced at the Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple and weaved through city streets, drawing a massive crowd of over 550,000 attendees according to Surrey RCMP estimates. The air was filled with excitement, as people of all backgrounds came together to celebrate the New Year and partake in the festivities. A sense of joy and togetherness enveloped the atmosphere, reminiscent of home for many like Amandeep Kaur, who traveled from the Punjab region of India to be a part of the spectacle.

Imran Hayre, who missed last year’s parade due to COVID-19 restrictions, echoed the sentiments of unity found in Surrey. Reflecting on the multicultural essence of the city, she emphasized the beauty of communities coming together in love and harmony. As she helped serve pakoras at the festival, Hayre recognized the shared immigrant experience that nurtures such loving gatherings in their new homeland.

Contemplating Vaisakhi’s Meaning:

While the parade was a vibrant display of culture and camaraderie, the essence of Vaisakhi as a day for religious reflection and expression did not go unnoticed. Several Sikh organizations in B.C. expressed concerns over Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke’s characterization of the event as a mere party, stressing the religious significance of Khalsa Revelation Day. The misrepresentation was deemed disappointing and irresponsible, underscoring the importance of acknowledging Vaisakhi as a faith celebration rather than a casual festivity.

In conclusion, the Surrey Vaisakhi parade serves as a powerful reminder of the values that bind us together as a community – compassion, unity, and religious reverence. As we revel in the colors, music, and free meals shared during this auspicious occasion, let us also reflect on the deeper significance of Vaisakhi and strive to honor its essence in our celebration. May the spirit of togetherness and cultural exchange continue to flourish, not just within the Sikh community, but among all individuals who come together to partake in this joyous festival.”



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