Vaisakhi celebrations in Birmingham set to help economy

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Vaisakhi celebrations in Birmingham 2009
Image caption,
Two separate parades will meet at Handsworth Park to celebrate Vaisakhi

As Vaisakhi gets under way, the Institute of Asian Businesses says it is expecting one of the busiest times for the economy in Birmingham.

The annual festival which celebrates the Sikh New Year and harvest time in the Punjab, falls on Thursday 14 April.

About 100,000 people are set to gather at Handsworth Park in Birmingham for the city's annual event on Sunday, 24 April.

The festival will see three days and two nights of celebrations.

"The Sikh community will go out and buy clothes and sweets and it's a celebration for all people and the economy as a whole grows," Shantose Kaur, President of the Institute of Asian Businesses said.

Celebrations are set to be lavish, despite the current economic climate.

"In our community we tend to cut out other things but, with festivals, we still celebrate as we did in previous years," Shantose Kaur added.

"We celebrate it similarly to Christmas, on that sort of grand scale, we go to each other's houses and give out presents."

Two processions, starting from Gurdwaras in Hockley and Smethwick, will begin the Vaisakhi celebrations on 24 April.

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