Thousands of people representing the Punjabi community will visit Gurdwars and other venues to mark Baisakhi, one of the most important events in their religious and social calendar this month.
The tradition and culture of Sikhism has begun to attract hundreds of people of other ethnic communities, religions and faiths and Baisakhi is another occasion that affords them an opportunity to understand and appreciate the values of this important community.
As well as Kirtans, prayers, cultural and sports activities, Baisakhi Festival promotes games, the foremost among which is Kabaddi.
Men, women and children will participate in street processions that will be held as a part of the festival this month.in many parts of the country.
Members, volunteers, supporters and guests of the New Zealand Sikh Society Auckland (which owns the Sri Guru Nanak Dev Sikh Sangat Gurdwara in Otahuhu and the Sri Kalgidhar Sahib in Takanini) will participate in the largest procession of its kind in New Zealand.
Sri Kalgidhar Sahib is located at 70 Takanini School Road, Takanini.
The first procession will take place on April 5, commencing and concluding at the Otahuhu Gurdwara located at 120 Princes Street. The Parade will commence at 11 am at the Gurdwara, proceed to the Otahuhu Shopping Mall and return by 3 pm.
Singh Sahib Bhai Maan Singh of the Granthi Golden Temple, Amritsar, India, will attend the Parade.
On the following day (April 6), the Otahuhu Gurdwara will conduct the ‘Baisakhi Religious Diwan.’
International Kabaddi games will be held on April 6 from midday to 7 pm at the Takanini Gurdwara. The Tournament will feature eight teams (three of them with international players).
A number of other sports including Volleyball, Soccer and Tug-of-War, will be held along with games for children.
Singh Sahib Maan Singh will perform Katha from April 5 to 13 nightly from 630 pm to 830 pm at the Takanini Gurdwara.
The grand Baisakhi Festival will be held at this Gurdwara on April 13, including a street parade and Kabaddi matches.
People from other ethnic groups watch with fascination and awe Nagar Kirtans (singing in the streets) and Kirtans in Gurdwaras. Kirtan is a term meaning singing of hymns from the ‘Guru Granth Sahib,’ the Sikh Holy Book.
All Gurdwaras serve free vegetarian food during ‘Guru Ka Langar’ every day.