Sikhs at Vaisakhi
Vaisakhi in Suffolk
By Andrew Woodger
Vaisakhi celebrates the founding of Sikhism in 1699, it is one of the religion's holiest festivals.
Ipswich's celebrations began in the pouring rain with a group of 30 or so hardy souls washing a flagpole down with yoghurt and milk. Our reporter Andrew Woodger went along to the start of the ceremony.
Washing the Vaisakhi flagpole in yoghurt and milk
Click on the audio link on the right to listen to Andrew Woodger's report >>
Click on the photo gallery link on the right to see photos of the Vaisakhi flagpole washing >>
Jaspal Singh, president of the Ipswich temple, explains the flagpole washing: "We are lowering the Vaisakhi flag outside the temple - each temple must have a flag. After lowering it, we wash and clean it with yoghurt and milk. Is is then cleansed with water, the material is changed and then it is put back up."
There are around 100 Sikh families in Suffolk, but the Ipswich Temple (in Bramford) is the only one in the county and it also serves people from Essex and Norfolk.
last updated: 15/04/2008 at 13:25
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