Hun­dreds join pa­rade

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

PEO­PLE filled the streets for the an­nual Sikh Na­gar Kir­tan pa­rade.

The fes­ti­val, cel­e­brated by Sikhs world­wide, marked the 361st an­niver­sary of the birth of the eighth Guru of the Sikh faith, Sri Guru Harkr­is­han Sahib Ji.

In Mid­dles­brough, hun­dreds lined the streets to watch as the cel­e­bra­tion pa­rade made its way from the Tem­ple in Lorne Street, where prayers were read, be­fore set­ting off to the sound of drum­mers and the singing of hymns.

Lead­ing the pa­rade were groups of Se­wadar – men and women who sprayed the road with wa­ter fol­lowed by groups with sweep­ing brushes ahead of a float car­ry­ing priests and the Sikh holy scrip­tures, the Guru Granth Sahib.

Sikhs con­sider the Guru Granth Sahib to be a liv­ing guru and so the road is swept clean ahead of it, as would be prac­tice for a king.

Ahead of the float, five men rep­re­sent­ing the Panj Pyare – the Five Beloved – walked bare­foot and car­ry­ing swords.

There were also dis­plays of mar­tial arts, the singing of hymns and prayer while more Se­wadar vol­un­teers handed food and drinks to those watch­ing from the road side.

The pro­ces­sion made its way along Der­went Street, Union Street, Bor­ough Road, Al­bert Road be­fore fi­nally ar­riv­ing at Cen­tre Square where speeches were made and a com­mu­nity meal was served.

Orig­i­nat­ing in the Pun­jab and with up to 28 mil­lion fol­low­ers world­wide, Sikhism is the ninth-largest re­li­gion in the world. Sikhs num­ber 423,000 in the UK, ac­cord­ing to the 2011 cen­sus.

The pa­rade through Mid­dles­brough’s streets was at­tended by Sikhs from across the North-east and wel­comed peo­ple of all faiths.

The Sikh Na­gar Kir­tan pro­ces­sion to Cen­tre Square, Mid­dles­brough

Above and be­low, in tra­di­tional cos­tumes

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