THE BLOG

Vaisakhi - Festival of Equality

13/04/2015 11:28 BST | Updated 12/06/2015 10:59 BST

Recently I have come across many people who think the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi is the New Year of Sikhism.

Vaisakhi, a completely different event is commonly misinterpreted as the Sikh New Year.

The Sikh New Year falls on March 14, first day of the new Sikh month of Chet. This day is also known as coronation day of Guru Har Rai, seventh Sikh Guru and is marked as environment day. Whereas Vaisakhi falls on 14th April.

Both events have completely different meanings and importance in the Sikh community.

The month of April marks an important celebration in the Sikh community. Sikhs around the world will be celebrating the festival of Vaisakhi this week.

The festival of Vaisakhi marks the birth of Khalsa, a collective body of all Sikhs represented by the Panj Pyare also translated as the five brave ones.

It was in April 1699 that Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th Master of Sikhs, encouraged a casteless solidarity, which is represented by the Panj Pyare. The phrase 'five brave ones' is the English translation of the Panj Pyare but the word brave fits well. These five were from different social backgrounds who became one on this ceremonial occasion. They condemned their social status and devoted their lives to fulfilling the Guru's mission of promoting equality, humanity and justice.

Equality in the Sikh faith has always been one of my favourite parts to learn about. Born and brought up in a family surrounded by Sikh values and learning about my faith I am proud to say that my faith doesn't allow inequality based on gender, race, religion or a social status. As a woman I can take part in all the activities in a Sikh Gurdwara that men take part in so if it's leading the congregation or cleaning the dishes no one is superior or inferior over the other. We are all equal.

The festival of Vaisaki always acts as a reminder to the whole Sikh community that no matter who we are or where we come from we are all one.

2015-04-12-1428847762-6851337-IMG_1212.JPG

Sikhs in Glasgow Taking Part in the Annual Procession of Vaisakhi.

This month Sikhs around the world will be celebrating the festive season of Vaisakhi giving a chance for the local communities to come together and celebrate the ideology of oneness.