The harvest festival of Baisakhi originated in Punjab. The festival also signals the beginning of the Punjabi New Year, and is an important cultural component of the Sikh community. Baisakhi celebrations worldwide are observed on 13th April, the day that also marks the establishment of the Khalsa in the late 17th Century and is known to the Sikh community around the world as KhalsaSirjana Divas
Before talking about Baisakhi celebrations worldwide, let's talk about how the festival is celebrated in India. It is said that Talwandi Sabo in Punjab is the place that was Guru Gobind Singh's shelter where he recompiled the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib. This place witnesses the most ardent Vaisakhi celebrations. Other notable celebrations take place at the Khalsa's birthplace, the Anandpur Sahib Gurdwara, and Amritsar's iconic Golden Temple.
West Punjab, presently in Pakistan, also sees a ton of festive activities in honor of Baisakhi. The Nankana Sahib Gurdwaras, HasanAbdal'sPanja Sahib Complex, and Lahore's numerous historical sights play host to Baisakhi celebrations, with thousands of pilgrims joining the festivities from around the globe.
In recent years, Malaysia has become a major part of Baisakhi celebrations worldwide.Even though the Sikh community ranks among the minorities in Malaysia, 2013saw Prime Minister NajibRazak announcing that all Sikh government servants would be granted leave on the occasion of Baisakhi. Celebrations take place typically in the form of ‘open houses’.
Los Angeles and Manhattan are the two prime cities which epitomize Baisakhi celebrations worldwide. The Sikh community in Manhattan offers ‘Seva’ to the community through the offering of free food and also contributes to the completion of several labor-oriented tasks for the improvement of the community. Los Angeles witnesses a whole day of spiritual music or ‘Kirtan’, which is followed by a procession.
In Canada, the cities of Abbotsford, Surrey, and Vancouver are the hubs of Baisakhi celebrations worldwide. The parade or ‘Nagar Kirtan’ of Surrey has particularly risen to prominence, with 2014 witnessing over 200,000 participants.