Vaisakhi 2019: Thousands of worshippers gather in Ilford to celebrate birth of faith
PUBLISHED: 13:18 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 17 April 2019
Thousands of Sikhs gathered at an Ilford temple to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday.
Large crowds amassed outside the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, to sing from holy Sikh scriptures, watch the changing of the temple's flag and share a meal.
Vaisakhi, also known as Baisakhi or Vaishakhi, commemorates the transformation the Sikhs into a family of warrior saints, known as the Khalsa Panth, under Guru Gobind Singh in 1699.
Five men dressed in white robes with orange wore ceremonial daggers known as kirpan to symbolise the Panj Pyare – the five beloved men who were initiated into the Khalsa, or brotherhood, in 1699.
The prayers were lead by the centre's high priest Sant Partap Singh Ji.
The centre's general secretary Harbans Singh said: “It was fantastic, a great gathering as it is every year.
He said the high priest encouraged guests to take amrit, the initiation rite into Sikhism, to become a “Singh”.