Gallery: Thousands mark birth of Sikh religion in West Bromwich

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to take part in a colourful parade to celebrate the birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion.

Around 20,000 members of the Sikh community joined yesterday’s march through West Bromwich and Smethwick for the Nagar Kirtan procession to celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

The first people started gathering outside the Guru Har Rai Gurdwara in George Street, West Bromwich on Sunday morning before the parade, which took around three-and-a-half hours to complete, finished outside the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in High Street, Smethwick.

The procession was led by five Sikhs in ceremonial dress and a float containing holy scriptures. There were also demonstrations of Gatka, traditional Sikh martial arts.

Food and drinks were offered to people as they walked following the religion’s tradition of Langar – a community kitchen – central part of the Sikh faith to offer free food to all visitors of a Gurdwara.

One of the organisers, Jagjit Singh, said: “It is the biggest day in the Sikh calendar in Sandwell. It is the one day where the community comes out and celebrates Guru Nanak, the founder of the faith.”

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