Sikh festival brings colour to the city centre

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A riot of colour filled Preston city centre as the city’s Sikh community held its first ever Nagar Kirtan.

The procession left the Sikh temple on Tunbridge Street and hundreds of Sikhs, dressed in traditional clothing, watched as it made its way through the streets to the Flag Market where martial arts demonstrations were given, free food was handed out and where VIP guests including the Mayor of Preston Coun Veronica Afrin and the Commander of 42 (NW) Brigade addressed the community and visitors.

Preston's Sikh community hold it's first ever Nagar Kirtan

Preston's Sikh community hold it's first ever Nagar Kirtan

The event, which saw visitors from all over the North West and the Midlands attend, is a Sikh custom involving the processional singing of holy hymns,‘Shabads’ and transporting Sikhism’s holy scripture Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji on a float through the streets while singing devotional hymns.

Sabharjit Singh Deol, president of Guru Nanak Gurdwara Cultural and Recreation Centre, said: “It was a privilege for the Sikh community of Preston and Lancashire to hold the first ever Nagar Kirtan in Preston, giving us an opportunity to celebrate our rich identity and promote stronger community relations.

“We are pleased that we will be reflecting on the major contributions Sikhs made during this commemoration of World War I.”

This year commemorates the centenary of the start of the First World War, a war in which the Sikhs along with Commonwealth regiments made major contributions.

Preston's Sikh community hold it's first ever Nagar Kirtan.

Preston's Sikh community hold it's first ever Nagar Kirtan.