‘Brilliant time’ at Vaisakhi festival in Leeds

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More than 1,000 Sikhs took part in the colourful annual parade on Saturday, part of the week-long Vaisakhi festival.

The procession left the Sikh Temple, on Chapeltown Road, in Leeds and continued to Millennium Square, stopping off at three other temples along the way.

Vaisakhi Festival, Leeds Pic: James Hardisty

Vaisakhi Festival, Leeds Pic: James Hardisty

Vaisakhi, which celebrates baptism and rebirth, is a long established harvest festival in the Punjab region of India.

One of the holiest days in the Sikh calendar, it marks the creation of the Khalsa, the formalisation of the Sikh faith in 1699. Vaisakhi was last Thursday and triggered a week of celebrations. Spokesman for the Sikh temple Balraj Singh Gill said Millennium Square was buzzing: “Food is prepared for everybody and traditional Indian sweets are handed out. It is a time for families and friends to get together, it is just a brilliant time.”