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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

High priest Sant Partap Singh Ji helps change the flag outside the Karamsar Centre to mark Vaisakhi on Sunday, April 14 2019. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

High priest Sant Partap Singh Ji helps change the flag outside the Karamsar Centre to mark Vaisakhi on Sunday, April 14 2019. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

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High priest Sant Partap Singh Ji helps change the flag outside the Karamsar Centre to mark Vaisakhi on Sunday, April 14 2019. Picture: Gurpreet Singh SundalHigh priest Sant Partap Singh Ji helps change the flag outside the Karamsar Centre to mark Vaisakhi on Sunday, April 14 2019. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

Thousands of Sikhs gathered at an Ilford temple to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday.

Five men dressed in white and orange to symbolize the Panj Pyare at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford in celebration of Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh SundalFive men dressed in white and orange to symbolize the Panj Pyare at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford in celebration of Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

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.

Thousands gathered at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal Thousands gathered at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

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.

Thousands gathered at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh SundalThousands gathered at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

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.

Thousands gathered at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh SundalThousands gathered at the Karamsar Centre, in High Road, Ilford to celebrate Vaisakhi on Sunday. Picture: Gurpreet Singh Sundal

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”.

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