Harblas Sandhu and Mangal Purewal both attend the Cariboo Sikh Temple in West Quesnel. Heather Norman photo

Quesnel temple welcomes community to annual celebration

The three-day Vaisakhi celebration features a flag ceremony Saturday morning

The Cariboo Sikh Temple in West Quesnel is celebrating Vaisakhi this weekend, from April 27 to 29, and all are welcome to attend.

Vaisakhi is a holiday that has been celebrated since ancient times, first in honour of the harvest, says Harblas Sandhu, a secretary at the Cariboo Sikh Temple. Now, the holiday celebrates the birth of the Khalsa, which took place on April 14, 1699.

The Khalsa is the order of Sikh soldier-saints, created by the 10th and final living guru, Gobind Singh. The Khalsa warriors were baptized to defend religious freedoms.

READ MORE: B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Typically, celebrations of the holiday fall closer to April 14; however, Sandhu says they wanted to host their celebration later, in order to give local Sikhs time to also attend other, larger celebrations around the province.

The community is welcome to attend and celebrate Vaisakhi at the temple in West Quesnel this weekend.

At 8 a.m. on Friday (April 26), there will be a reading of the Guru Garanth Sahib.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday (April 27), there will be a flag-raising ceremony, featuring the Nishan Sahib, a triangular flag made of cotton or silk with a tassel at its end. The flag is the traditional signal of the Khalsa and can be seen from far away signifying that others are welcome to come pray in the temple.

The flag is replaced with a new flag each Vaisakhi.

There will also be a service at the temple at 11 a.m. on Sunday (April 28).


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