Punjabi New Year sees thousands turn out for holy parade
Thousands of Sikhs dressed in orange made their way through Bradford on Sunday for the harvest festival marking Punjabi New Year.
The annual festival is one of the most sacred days in the Sikh calendar and marks the creation of the Khalsa – the Sikh order into which all followers are baptised or initiated.
Jag Kalsi, a photojournalist from Leeds and devoted Sikh – attended celebrations on Sunday.
He reports: “Vaisakhi was on Wednesday but Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara – the Bolton Road Temple – was part of the celebration on the Sunday, as it’s when everyone can get together.
“We got there in the morning and had breakfast in a big congregation. We dined on samosa with chole and tea.
“After, we then sat down in the Diwan hall and prayed together. Then it was time to prepare for the parade to turn up at our temple.
“If you’re not familiar with the parade, all the temples get together in Bradford and we walk from temple to temple, which takes around four hours. It’s quite an extensive walk.
“We prepared the outside area for the massive parade. Loads of local businesses donated food, snacks, drinks and crisps for people to enjoy and get refuelled.
“The temple did a Langar meal which is purely vegetarian and included rotis, chapattis, chickpeas and Karah-parshad.
“The food was packed into take-out containers. If you fancied something spicy, then you could pick that up.
“The parade stopped off at the temple and we all prayed again. Drums were playing in one corner and exotic birds of prey were on show, which is symbolic of the tenth master Guru Gobind Sing Ji, who had many titles, one of them being ‘the keeper of the white falcon’.
“It was a fantastic day all round.”