While many Edmontonians were commemorating Easter weekend, the local Sikh community was celebrating the start of their solar New Year.
Vaisakhi celebrations mark the Sikh Brotherhood and pay tribute to the start of the Punjabi Harvest.
“Today is a continuation of our New Year’s celebrations, and also the birth of our religion, founded in 1699,” Herpreet Gill, Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Temple executive member said.
While members of the Sikh community across the world celebrate the event, the community in Alberta is also celebrating the declaration of April as Sikh Heritage Month in the province, which celebrates the contributions of Alberta’s Sikh community to the province.
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“We want to take the opportunity to teach the people out there as to who we are because there’s so many misconceptions about Sikhs, and we want to dispel them,” Gill said.
“Some people think that we’re Muslims. Some people think because we come from India, that we’re Hindus, but we are a religion of our own.”
Gill said the religion is based on compassion, equality and justice for all.
A Sikh parade will also take place in Edmonton on May 21.