Marching in faith

PUBLISHED: 12:42 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

Dohl drummers

Dohl drummers

THE annual Vaisakhi procession was in full swing last weekend, drawing crowds of spectators and shoppers to Hitchin town centre. Marking the Sikh New Year, the event brought a vibrant buzz to the Easter weekend, leaving both locals and visitors truly ente

The Vaisakhi procession makes its way along Hitchin High Street

THE annual Vaisakhi procession was in full swing last weekend, drawing crowds of spectators and shoppers to Hitchin town centre.

Marking the Sikh New Year, the event brought a vibrant buzz to the Easter weekend, leaving both locals and visitors truly entertained.

Harchet Singh Bains is president of the Singh Sabha Gurdwara committee and helped organise the Vaisakhi procession.

He said: "It was very good and a huge success.

Hitchin Samba Band Toque Tambor

"It was so colourful and everyone really appreciated it.

"We got quite a number of emails and telephone messages from people who enjoyed it, saying how much they liked the whole spectacle.

"They were especially complimentary about the colourful dresses of the ladies, the drummers and all the performers.

"They also enjoyed the music when we were reading from the Holy Scriptures.

"Everyone said that they hope we continue."

Mr Singh Bains said they'll be back on Hitchin's streets in 2007, with even more music and performers, "This festival is very important in the Sikh calendar as it is both a harvest festival and a religious festival.

"It's the Sikh New Year and from that day onwards in 1699 the 10th and last Guru laid down some ground rules for the Sikhs to follow.

"It's very important for Sikhs and was being celebrated with great enthusiasm by communities across the world."

The Vaisakhi procession is another example of Hitchin's multiculturism.

Mr Singh Bains continued: "I think that for community relations and cohesion, the Vaisakhi procession is very good and it's great for everyone to enjoy.

"So many people gathered in the Market Place and along the route of the procession.

"Hitchin is a very nice town and nowhere else nearby organises this kind of procession so we're very lucky and we had people from Bedford, Stevenage, Luton and all over turn up to enjoy the day.

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