The Southall Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan (procession)
Tens of thousands of people join in the annual Vaisakhi celebrations in Southall. This occurs on a Sunday in late March or in early April. The Police were expecting between 75,000 to 100,000 people to attend in 2012.
The religous ceremony starts at 11 am at the Havelock Road Gurdwara.
After mid-day, a lively and colourful procession (nagar kirtan) makes its way through Southall from the Havelock Road Gurdwara to the Park Avenue Gurdwara to celebrate the Sikh New Year and the harvest festival.
Although, the Vaisakhi day is celebrated on 14th April, the procession in Southall takes place in late March or early April. It is led by traditionally dressed Panj Piaras. The Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, is carried along the procession.
It is a trouble free event for all the family. All those attending are calm, considerate and in a happy mood. The procession route is covered with food stalls serving free food, fruit and drinks from 10am to everyone.
Pavements and roads from King street to the Broadway are packed full of people. At the peak, it is impossible to move in any direction due to the sheer number of people for about 4 hours.
Police advise motorists to avoid the area. Those coming to Southall to join the celebrations are advised to use public transport if possible. Signed road closures, parking restrictions and bus diversions are in place from early morning until the evening.