Despite wild weather, Dandenong Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan draws thousands

Dandenong Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan

MELBOURNE — Thousands of Sikhs participated in Dandenong Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan on 9th April Sunday morning to mark annual celebrations of Khalsayee festival of Vaisakhi.

Vaisakhi marks the birth of the the creation of the Khalsa and is one of the most significant dates in the year for Sikhs. The procession commemorated the anniversary of the initiation of the first five members of the brotherhood of the Khalsa on April 13, 1699 – one of the most significant dates in Sikh history – as well as ushering in the spring.

The Nagar Kirtan is a Sikh tradition in which the procession sings hymns and hands out food as they walk through the community. Gurdwara Sri Guru Granth Sahib, Keysborough organizes the event each year.

The Dandenong Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan started at 9:45am with Ardas ceremony at Dandeong Plaza and concluded at Dandenong Park.
Despite heavy rain and weather chaos, there was a massive participation of Sikh Sangat. Roads were closed along the route as people walked through the streets for the huge parade, which saw a major float decorated with flowers carrying Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji, panj pyare (five baptised Sikhs) dressed in traditional dress lead the way behind a group of sweeper clearing the road for their bare feet.
Dhadi Fauja Singh Sagar

At the Dandenong park, a stage was setup, where Dhadi Jatha of Giani Fauja Singh Sagar performed and sang dhadhi vaars. Hundereds of kids wearing dastars also sang shabads and other spiritual singing performances.

There was plenty of free food to all and singing hymns, with displays of gatka (Sikh martial-arts) as part of the celebrations.