Despite heavy afternoon rain, Surrey’s Khalsa Day Parade, the world’s largest Vaisakhi parade, drew in between 240,000 to 250,000 spectators to the peaceful, family-orientated celebration, according to the Surrey RCMP.
This year’s procession featured 23 floats representing local Sikh schools, community groups, humanitarian organizations as well as the most important float in the procession that carries the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy scripture).
“We are grateful to the Sikh sangat and Surrey community who allow us to serve them through coordinating this event. It is inspiring to see this event evolve into a message for peace and tolerance while representing the rights of all peoples in the pursuit of justice and self-determination” says Moninder Singh, spokesperson for the Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, organizers of the event.
This year’s event is particularly significant as it marks the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Amritsar (hundreds of people were killed during an attack on Sikhism’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple in India).
“As a community, we took this opportunity to remember and honour the lives of those killed during the storming of the Golden Temple in 1984,” says event spokesperson Moninder Singh.
As always, the festivities were volunteer-driven and exemplify the pride and enthusiasm of the Sikh community in sharing their rich culture and history with the entire city. The Gurdwara Sahib Dashmesh Darbar thanks all attendees for their participation and looks forward to celebrating again next year.