Celebratory Sikh parade to travel Leicester’s streets

By Jason Cowlishaw

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Credit: Leicester Mercury

Holy hymn singing, gracious food giving, decorated floats and colourful clothing displays will fill the streets of Leicester this weekend.

The annual Nagar Kirtan procession will commence at 11am on Sunday November 27 at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara Temple and is designated to settle at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple around 3pm.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “Thousands of people take part in this procession every year, to mark one of the most significant events in the Sikh religion.”

The event is a large-scale celebration of the birth of Sikhism’s first Guru and founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Guru Nanak’s birthday takes place on November 14 and he is a crucial figure in the Sikh religion as he was the first of the ten Gurus.

Harinder Singh, 64, who is a voluntary education officer at the Guru Nanak Temple, said: “It will be an incredibly energetic event with lots of happy smiling faces, hymn singing and a huge sense of togetherness.

“The procession comprises of people from all different walks of life, ranging from school children to the elderly.

“It doesn’t matter what your age, ethnicity or religious beliefs are, everyone is welcome to drop in or out of the parade whenever they like.”

Nagar Kirtan has been celebrated in Leicester for more than 20 years and is often referred to as one of the city’s most colourful cultural events.

Harinder, who is a devoted teacher of Sikhism, said: “There will be a large variety of free food offerings available to anyone interested.

“Traditional delicacies ranging from sweets to samosas will be easily accessible on the day.”

Temporary rolling road closures will take place as the crowds move across Leicester and the planned route is as follows, starting on St Peter’s Road, Sparkenhoe Street, Swain Street, St George’s Way, Charles Street, Northhampton Street, Granby Street, Gallowtree Gate, East Gates, High Street, St Nicholas Place, St Nicholas Circle and finally settling on Holy Bones.

Last year an estimated 10,000 Sikhs took part in Leicester’s Nagar Kirtan and it’s anticipated that involvement this year will be even bigger.

For on-going and regularly updated travel or traffic changes search twitter handle @ATCLeicester.

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