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Photo Slideshow: Sikhs from four continents flock to Pakistan for Vaisakhi festival

HASSAN ABDAL, Pakistan (RNS) Sikhs from all over the world assemble at Gurdwara Panja Sahib each year for a religious ritual on the eve of Vaisakhi (sometimes known as Baisakhi), a centuries-old festival that also marks the spring harvest.

Women and men huddle together in a bid to get 'holy' drinking water from a fountain in Hassan Abdal, Pakistan, presumably discovered by Guru Nanak himself. Photo by Naveed Ahmad

HASSAN ABDAL, Pakistan (RNS)  Sikhs from all over the world assemble at Gurdwara Panja Sahib each year for a religious ritual on the eve of Vaisakhi (sometimes known as Baisakhi), a centuries-old festival that also marks the spring harvest. This year, some 8,000 Sikh pilgrims arrived from as far as Scandinavia and Australia to spend 10 days of religious pilgrimage in three cities. Pronounced “VA-sock-ee,” the festival, which fell on Monday (April 14), marks the beginning of the Sikh New Year and commemorates the founding of the Khalsa (spiritual sister- and brotherhood) in 1699.

YS/AMB END AHMAD

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