London Mayor Sadiq Khan has fulfilled his campaign promise to bring city’s Vaisakhi celebration back to prestigious Trafalgar Square….reports Asian Lite News
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced plans for this year’s Vaisakhi festival next Saturday (29 April). The celebration of Sikh culture and heritage will return to Trafalgar Square following Sadiq Khan’s commitment to bring it back to the heart of the capital.
Together with representatives from across the Sikh community, City Hall has created a family-friendly programme filled with the best of Sikh culture and heritage. Highlights include Kirtan (Sikh spiritual music), Gatka (martial arts), spoken word, folk music; turban tying, children’s activities and an exhibition by Sikh artists.
Volunteers from the Sikh community will treat the audience to langar (free food) and visitors to the Square will also have the opportunity to learn about the good work the Sikh community in London does through a host of community stalls on the day.
For the past two years the festival has taken place in City Hall and More London Riverside. Sadiq Khan pledged to bring the celebration back to Trafalgar Square, opening the event to even more people, and giving Londoners from all backgrounds, and visitors to the capital, the opportunity to learn about Sikhism and celebrate Vaisakhi.
Vaisakhi commemorates the birth of the Khalsa and the beginning of Sikhism as a collective faith, and London’s celebrations are an opportunity for people from all communities, faiths and backgrounds to experience a festival that is celebrated by over 126,000 Sikhs who live in the capital and 20 million people across the world.
Earlier this month, the Mayor joined London’s Sikh community at the Vaisakhi parade in Southall, one of the biggest of its kind in Europe, with tens of thousands of Londoners from all communities, as well as visitors to our city, celebrating together.
“I promised to bring City Hall’s celebrations back to Trafalgar Square this year and I have delivered on my pledge, opening the festivities to even more people and giving Londoners from all backgrounds the opportunity to learn about Sikhism and celebrate Vaisakhi. We will have an incredible line up of performers, artists and musicians from across the Sikh community, for what will be an amazing showcase of Sikh heritage and culture in the heart of our great city,” said Mr Khan.
“When I think of the Sikh community in London and the contribution they have made to the capital – socially, culturally and economically – I feel proud. I’d like to wish the Sikh community of London and beyond a very happy Vaisakhi. Vaisakhi di lakh lakh vidaiya.”
“As both Londoners and Sikhs, we feel the grassroots approach to the programme focusing on Kirtan and Langar will create a day that is inclusive for both Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike. We welcome Londoners from all faiths, beliefs or none to enjoy, learn and celebrate together through a diverse range of colourful displays and engaging activities including art exhibitions by Sikh artists from across the world,” said Manraj Singh Othi, Vaisakhi Steering Group.
“The Sikh community are an integral part of the London landscape, whilst maintaining a very visible and distinctive identity. This year’s event continues to give London the opportunity to celebrate British Sikh talent through spiritual music, art, and martial arts as well as other great community projects.”
Event: Vaisakhi Festival
Location: Trafalgar Square
Date: Saturday 29 April 2017
Entry: FREE – ALL WELCOME