Released: April 14, 2023
Delaware County Council wishes the Sikh community a Happy Vaisakhi!
This Friday, April 14, marks the holy day of Vaisakhi, one of the most significant and widely observed annual celebrations for Sikhs, who make up the fifth-largest religion in the world.
Vaisakhi (which can also be spelled Baisakhi) has long been celebrated as a spring-time harvest festival across South Asia and especially to the people and farmers of the Punjab region of India, where it is also observed by Hindus. Vaisakhi marks the beginning of their solar year and is a time to celebrate a good agricultural year and pray for abundant crop for the next.
The festival is celebrated in schools, colleges, gurudwaras (places of worship), fields and homes. People wear vibrant traditional clothes, dance to celebrate prosperity, and prepare locally-grown foods such as makke di roti (a flat unleavened bread made from corn meal), sarson ka saag (a dish of mustard greens cooked with spices), chhole (a flavorful chickpea curry), aloo poori (a bread made by mixing boiled potatoes with flour and spice), gajar ka halwa (a carrot-based sweet dessert pudding), and lassi (a creamy drink with mango, yogurt, milk, sugar, and a sprinkling of cardamom).
Sikhs often celebrate Vaisakhi by visiting their local gurdwara to worship, meditate, and partake in langar, a free community meal prepared and served at all gurdwaras by volunteers.
For Sikhs, the day also holds importance as it honors a pivotal moment in the evolution of the religion more than 300 years ago when the tenth in a line of Gurus — or spiritual leaders — unified Sikhs and formalized many aspects of the faith.
Today, there are over 25 million Sikhs in India, and over 500,000 Sikhs residing here in the United States.
To all the celebrants of Vaisakhi: “Happy Vaisakhi,” or "Vaisakhi Diyan Vadhaiyan," which means ‘Best wishes for Vaisakhi.’