GALLERY: Hitchin Vaisakhi Parade

HITCHIN was alive with colour and music at the weekend, as hundreds of people marked the annual Vaisakhi celebrations.

The Sikh community from Herts and Beds joined to celebrate the festival, which marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year, with a procession through Hitchin on Saturday.

The day began at the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara temple in Wilbury Way, with the procession then making its way through the town.

Before the procession set off, trailers were dressed, the holy book Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was placed on the main trailer and hymns were sung.

The procession saw five Sikhs carrying flags and another five carrying swords to represent the ‘five beloved ones’, the disciples of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

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Free food was given out along the way and Toque Tombor played music.

The parade coincided with an effort by young Sikhs in the town, who are trying to raise awareness of human rights injustices against Sikhs in India.

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The effort, dubbed the Hitchin Pledges Orange Campaign, saw orange ribbons tied up in various locations around the town.

Satnam Singh Parmar, who coordinated the effort, said: “The Sikh community of Hitchin want to spread the awareness of our struggle for justice and equality.

“The campaign quickly drew support from the Sikh youth of Hitchin which has led to our beautiful town taking a stand against injustice.”

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