Every April, millions of Sikhs world-wide celebrate Vaisakhi Day, a day that marks both the New Year and the anniversary of one of Sikhism's most important events, the establishment of Khalsa in 1699 with the first Amrit ceremony.
Vancouverites have two Vaisakhi Parades to choose from: the Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade happening on April 12, 2014, which attracts about 50,000 spectators, and the annual Surrey Vaisakhi Parade and Celebration on April 19, 2014, which attracts 80,000 - 200,000, making it one of the largest Vaisakhi parades outside India.
Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade and Celebration
When: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Where: The parade starts at 11am at the Ross Street Temple (8000 Ross St at 64th), moves south on Ross Street to SE Marine Drive, then west to Main Street, north to 49th Avenue, east to Fraser Street, south to 57th Avenue, east to Ross Street and then returns to the Temple.
Getting to the Vaisakhi Parade: Don't try to park near the parade route! With so many people expected, the best way to get to the Parade is by public transit.
Surrey Vaisakhi Parade and Celebration
When: Saturday, April 19, 2014
Where: The parade begins at the Gurdwara Dashmesh Darbar Temple, at 12885 85th Avenue in Surrey. Parade route map here.
Getting to the Vaisakhi Parade: Like the Vancouver Vaisakhi Parade, the best way to get to Surrey's Parade is by public transit.
In addition to the parade and procession, Nagar Kirtan hymms and floats, there will be free food (graciously prepared by local residents and businesses), live music and rides, and, at Surrey's festival, several politicians working the crowds.