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Happy Vaisakhi! It’s the 14th April and here at Elephant Atta, we’d like to help you celebrate!

Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi), a popular celebration around India, is one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar as it marks the start of the Punjabi New Year.

There are two elements to Vaisakhi; the first refers to the harvest festival in the Punjab region of India, whilst the second, marks the day that Sikhism was born as a collective faith in 1699. It commemorates the establishment of the Khalsa by the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh. Each year at Vaisakhi, those ready to join the ‘Khalsa’ (which means pure) are baptised.

Vaisakhi is also observed by the farming community of Punjab as a day of giving thanks and paying tribute to God for their abundant harvest and praying for future prosperity. For the Hindu community, Vaisakhi marks the time of the spring harvest and is also the start of the Hindu New Year.

Last weekend thousands of people joined a colourful procession in Southall, West London, to watch the annual Vaisakhi parade. The free annual London celebration of the Vaisakhi Festival will take place in Trafalgar Square on 29 April. The event will include live performances, kirtan (spiritual music), arts, food, turban tying and fun children’s activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Sikhs often celebrate this important festival by wearing new clothes and attending Vaisakhi Melas or fairs, where there are often bhangra and gidda performances, as well as singing and acrobatics. Kada or Karah Prasad (a sweet flour based oily vegetarian food that is offered to all visitors to the Gurdwara) is often served, as well as ‘langar’, a community lunch prepared and served by volunteers.

If you’re celebrating by cooking for the family, we’ve got a selection of recipes you might want to try out to mark the special occasion. Lovingly prepare some Vaisakhi favourites such as Achari Mutton or Tandoori Chicken, both of which go great with any of our bread recipes. Or celebrate nature’s bounty with our selection of vegetable dishes and easy to prepare dahls. Get the children involved by asking them to help prepare the halwa, which we’re sure they’d love! Or perhaps it’s even time to pass on your mother’s traditional recipes to your little ones and get them cooking. Add a twist to them to make them your own and start off a new family tradition! And for those who want to make their chapattis or rotis even healthier, using Elephant Atta Chakki Gold, made from 100% wholewheat flour, will ensure they come out tasting deliciously light and fluffy.

Vaisakhi is all about community, progression and celebration and we believe strongly in the values it represents. Let us be part of your special day by helping you bring in the New Year with plenty of good food, warmth and love.

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