This Sunday, the Nottingham Sikh community celebrates Vaisakhi to mark the birth of the Khalsa Panth, and celebrate the 550th Gupurab (birthday) of their founder, Guru Nanak.

During Vaisakhi, colourful processions called Nagar Kirtans take place around the world. Nagar Kirtans are a Sikh custom involving the processional singing of Holy Scriptures on auspicious religious occasions and are customary during Vaisakhi

The Nottingham Nagar Kirtan has been running for 30 years and the procession usually passes by all Gurdwaras (Sikh places of worship) in Nottingham. This year the procession will start from Forest Park and will culminate with a fantastic programme at the Old Market Square.

The Nottingham Nagar Kirtan (Parade) for Vaisakhi 2019 is open to all communities. From the Forest Recreation Ground, the parade will head along Mansfield Road. It will progress along Milton Street, Upper Parliament Street, and finally Queen Street to Market Square. Anybody of any faith is welcome to take part in the procession or alternatively, to join the celebrations in the Old Market Square.

Upon arrival in the square, the event will start with formal prayers in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib. There will be various activities taking place throughout the day, including:

  • Langar – Free vegetarian food for all
  • Children’s Corner – Arts and crafts to entertain the youngsters
  • Turban Tying – Try having a turban tied or just see how it is done
  • Gatka – Sikh martial art sword fighting displays
  • Basics of Sikhi – Learn about the faith through discussions and talks
  • Meditation and Music

The full details of the celebrations are as follows:

9am              Assemble at Forest Recreation Ground
9.50am         Ardaas (Prayers) to begin Nagar Kirtan
10am            Depart for Market Square via Mansfield Road,
(short pause at Raja Sahib Gurdwara – Corner of Villa Road),
Milton Street, Upper Parliament Street, Queen Street to Market
11am            Ardaas and beginning of Market Square Programmes
4.30pm       Programme ends

Nottingham City Council’s Head of Events, Patrick Loy said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the Sikh community to the Old Market Square on Sunday. The Sikh community will be out in force and we hope that the rest of the city takes up their invitation to join them and enjoy the celebrations and the entertainment. This is a great opportunity for interaction with other communities in Nottingham as well as to enjoy one of the most colourful and interactive celebrations in the Nottingham events calendar.”

The Nottingham Nagar Kirtan Committee, the event organisers, representing all Sikh Gurdwaras of Nottingham said: “The Sikh community is really looking forward to Sunday and to welcoming as many people from other communities as possible. We wish you all a very happy Vaisakhi and Gurpurab and hope you can join us in celebrating this auspicious occasion.”