Vaisakhi is the beginning of the Sikh New Year and the Punjabi calendar. It also celebrates the start of the Punjab harvest season and is the anniversary of the Khalsa, into which Sikhs are baptised. The city of Birmingham is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities in the UK and the home to a large Sikh community. As such Vaisakhi in Birmingham is a huge celebration, attracting thousands of visitors to the city. Vaisakhi itself is on the 13th April, however Birmingham hosts two processions and a major festival at Handsworth Park the following weekend.
Birmingham Airport is the nearest international airport, with a free air-link into Birmingham International Railway Station. You can catch the train to Handsworth Wood train station for the festival. If you are driving be mindful of road closures due to the morning processions. Check the festival website for confirmed times. Processions usually congregate between 9am at Graham Street in Hockley and 9.30am at St Paul’s Road in Smethwick before heading off at 11am. The festival in Handsworth Park runs from 11am to 6.30pm and is free for everyone. Although Vaisakhi is a Sikh celebration all members of the community are invited to attend.
Arrive early to gather and join the atmosphere ahead of the day’s events. If you are of Sikh faith attend the Sikh Temples at which the processions commence. The festival welcomes and embrace all beliefs and cultures, so ensure you show respect the same as any other day. Read about Vaisakhi, its origins and what to expect. Attend the festivities in the park and take part in special events, food stalls and designated areas for prayer. This is very much a family oriented occasion. If you wish to run a market stall, book early with pitches available for a reduced price of between £300 and £500.
If you are planning to visit Birmingham for Vaisakhi, choose from a selection of houses and apartments, B&B’s and other private rentals close to Handsworth Park. Wherever you are staying in the city you can easily get around via public transport. Check our accommodation in Birmingham.
If you are of Sikh faith, there several temples in Birmingham. If you love shopping, take a look around the Bullring shopping centre. A visit to Cadbury World is a must for the chocoholics. In the evening watch a show at places such as the NEC, Barclaycard Arena or Birmingham Hippodrome.
To find out more about the Vaisakhi celebrations in Birmingham, such as: details about the event, Simran in the Park, Vaisakhi in the Park, procession routes, sponsorship opportunities, stalls and marquees visit the official Vaisakhi in Birmingham website.