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.


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