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Vaisakhi (Baisakhi)

baisakhiVaisakhi (Baisakhi)

Vaisakhi, as a Hindu festival, is celebrated according to the solar calendar and is marked in several different ways across India and the UK.

Vaisakhi in India

Throughout India the celebrations vary. In the North of India, Vaisakhi is a time signifying the harvest, and as such is celebrated as a harvest festival. Traditionally people buy each other gifts to mark this occasion.

In the Himachal Pradesh state, Vaisakhi is celebrated as a way of honouring the Goddess Jwalamukhi (also known as Durga, Mata, Amba), and in Bihar it is celebrated by honouring Surya (the Sun-God).

In Bengal, Vaisakhi is observed as the beginning of the New Year. To mark this people make rangolis, or floral patterns, displayed on the entrance of their homes.

Vaisakhi is also celebrated as the New Year in the South of India, and is marked by holding Pooram festivals, where processions occur to honour Lord Vishnu. In Assam, Vaisakhi is celebrated as Rangali Bihu (colours).

Vaisakhi in the UK

For Hindus in the UK, this means that Vaisakhi is celebrated in many diverse ways, with the method of celebration largely dependent upon a person's individual ancestry.

What is common to all Hindus is that, at the time of Vaisakhi, people will go to the temple to pay respect and seek blessings, and gifts and sweets will be exchanged between friends and family members.

Vaisakhi Melas are also held throughout the UK, where Hindus recreate the atmosphere of celebration that occurs simultaneously in India.

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