With stricter COVID-19 measures once again in place, Cochrane's Sikh community is taking a different approach to celebrating Vaisakhi.

A contest is now underway and entries will continue to be accepted until Monday for a chance to win one of five $30 gift cards from a local business of your choice.

Those entering are asked to submit a brief description of the importance of Vaisakhi. 

The winners will be drawn on Tues. Apr. 13.

"Last year, we donated food to the Cochrane Activettes Food Bank," explains Paul Singh. "This year, with the shutdown of businesses, we wanted to support our local businesses, so we're encouraging people to learn about Vaisakhi, and what Sikhism is."

April is also Sikh Heritage Month in Canada.

Vaisakhi occurs annually in Mid-April and traditionally concurs in Punjab with the first harvesting of crops for the year and marks the beginning of the solar New Year.

Historically, the festival has been a very joyous and colourful occasion. However, since 1699, it has marked the very significant religious event of the creation of the Khalsa Panth.

Before the beginning of the pandemic, small gatherings were held in 2018 and 2019 to celebrate Vaisakhi.

Entries can be submitted to the Mehtab East Indian Cuisine Facebook page here.

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