Thousands of Sikhs descended on Tauranga streets for their annual parade celebrating the birthday on one of their most revered gurus.
A massive crowd lined the streets to witness the annual Sikh Parade, hosted by Gurdwara Sikh Sangat Tauranga.
Last year’s parade drew in a crowd of about 5000, but more people were expected this year as as the 2017 parade marks 350 years since the birthday of Guru Gobind Singh, says spokesperson Puran Singh.
It is part of a traditional Indian ritual with the crowd marching for a two-hour period, chanting Sikh prayers and hymns while dressed in traditional Indian garb and also featured a Scottish pipe band.
The parade left at 11am from Burrow Street, went along 14th Avenue, past Fraser Street to Tauranga Boy’s College grounds where speeches were held. From there it progressed past Memorial Park on 11th Avenue, back along Fraser Street to 13th Avenue before finishing up at Burrow Street.
Video Source from nzherald.co.nz
Guru Gobind Singh was the last of the 10 Gurus, who transformed the Sikh faith.
In 1699 the 10th Guru created the Khalsa, a community of the faithful who wore visible symbols of their faith and trained as warriors.
January 7 marks the birth of Khalsa, or the 10th Guru, and is regarded as a symbolic day equivalent to Christians celebrating Christmas – and the birth of Christ.
Guru Gobind Singh introduced the turban and the salwar kameez that Sikhs wear today.
The Sikh Parade made for a colourful explosion of life in Tauranga today. Photos: Rosalie Liddle Crawford. via SunLive