Celebrating Vaisakhi

Vaisakhi Amrit (2)
Taking Amrit (sweetened holy water) allows Sikhs to become members of the Khalsa

Munpreet Sohal, Digital Communications Officer at IMPACT (Improving Adult Care Together), explains why she’s excited to celebrate Vaisakhi and how this became a significant date.


Each year, when spring is in the air, I anticipate the arrival of Vaisakhi.

Punjabis have long celebrated this day as the start of a new agricultural year, when crops would be harvested and seeds planted.

For Sikhs, it marks the blossoming of their faith one momentous Vaisakhi day in 1699. This marked the birth of the Khalsa, a collective of dedicated, initiated disciples whose distinctive identity and way of life has become a benchmark for Sikh practice from one generation to another.


With each passing year, I think more about why that Vaisakhi was so momentous.

The Khalsa was born some 230 years after the first seeds of the faith were sown and nurtured across the lives of ten Sikh Gurus.

Turn by turn, each Guru established the faith’s guiding principles and practices, based on love and service to the Creator and creation, and on unlocking our capacity to live in noble, loving, responsible, generous and courageous ways. These qualities are reflected in our saintly warrior identity, and in the regal names of Singh and Kaur we are given.

I feel an awe to think about these ideals as I commemorate the day, over three centuries on.


In Gurudwaras, there will be an extra buzz of energy as we join to pray, meditate, cook and serve langar - vegetarian meals, prepared and served to all in an egalitarian way.

Seeing other Sikhs step forward to take the initiation, I’ll remember my own initiation, as Amrit, or sweetened holy water, was splashed five times into my eyes and hair before I sipped five palmfuls.

That flashback reminds me of my pledge to strive to see, think and speak with greater wisdom.

Whatever our background, that’s something worth striving for in our own different ways. 

To everyone celebrating this weekend and throughout the month, I wish you a happy Vaisakhi!


Sikhs join together to pray, meditate, cook and serve langar, a community vegetarian meal


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