Loud and bright: Victoria celebrates Vaisakhi for the first time in 100 years


WATCH: For the first time in over a century, a grand Vaisakhi celebration took place in Victoria Sunday. The parade drew hundreds to the streets. Isabelle Raghem was there. 

It was a parade just as loud as it was vibrant, more than a thousand people filled the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood Sunday for a Vaisakhi parade.

The celebrations mark the harvest season and the birth of the Sikh faith.

“We were hoping for just a few hundred and it just blew everything out of the water for us,” says event organizer Jatinder Singh.

It’s the first time Victoria hosted a Vaisakhi festival in more than a century.

The last time was all the way back in October 1912. An archived newspaper clipping of ‘The Daily Colonist’ reads “Sikh Procession Spectacular One.”

So why did it take 100 years to bring it back?

“I think most people were used to going to Vancouver and Surrey and what’s happened in the last few [years] the youth saying we want to do one in Victoria,” said Singh.

If you missed this colourful extravaganza, you won’t have to wait until another century.

“We won’t wait another 106 years, we will most likely be doing this every year,” added Singh.

The festival gave Victoria a taste of what Vaisakhi is all about.

Isabelle RaghemIsabelle Raghem

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