Sunday, May 04, 2008

Vaisakh Festival in Reading

Today I was untimely disrupted in my sleep by noisy drumming and chanting. Well it was nearly 12 o'clock so I can't really complain. The reason was the annual Vaisakh Festival. Vaisakh is the most important festival in the Sikh community and therefore they might be forgiven for disturbing my sleep. After all I would still be unaware of this important festival in our Indian coummunity here in Reading. Originally it signified the end of the harvesting, in case you are wondering they celebrate the end of the harvest in Punjab and this all over the word, hence the ill-timed period of spring in the Northern hemisphere.
It also celebrates the birth of Guru Arjan Dev, which was on the 15th of April 1563, and therefore a huge procession will be just fine.

I didn't even had to leave my house for watching the really long procession. Here are some shots from my bedroom window:

After a group of drummers a couple of people swept the street with brooms, so the following bare-footed and praying priests wouldn't crush any life-form crawling on the street. After that two waggons followed and after those a huge crowd of Sikh people. Believe me it took a while until they all passed. The last part of the procession was a waggon that picked up elderly people who couldn't walk any further and they climbed up on the wagon with a ladder.

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