Eaknoorjit Kaur Dhaliwal, of Surrey, British Columbia, twirls a ring during the Khalsa Day Celebration and Parade through the streets of Kent last year. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Eaknoorjit Kaur Dhaliwal, of Surrey, British Columbia, twirls a ring during the Khalsa Day Celebration and Parade through the streets of Kent last year. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Thousands to join Sikh celebration in Kent on Saturday

Day features prayer, music, demonstrations and a large parade

One of the area’s largest Sikh communities will converge in Kent on Saturday for the 11th annual Khalsa Day Celebration and Parade – a religious and colorful festival filled with music, prayer, food and demonstrations – at the accesso ShoWare Center.

The celebration begins at 10 a.m. at the ShoWare Center, where there will be music, exhibits, food stalls and speeches.

The day culminates at 3 p.m. with the Nagar Kirtan, the parade, in which thousands of people proceed through the streets of Kent, singing hymns from a sacred book of worship known as Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikhs’ most ultimate holy scripture.

U.S. Congressman Adam Smith; Secretary of State of Kim Wyman; Mayor Dana Ralph; Satwinder Kaur, Kent’s first Sikh City Council member; and community leaders from throughout the state will be on hand to participate in the festivities.

Every spring millions of Sikhs worldwide celebrate Khalsa or Vaisakhi Day, marking the beginning of the harvest season and the Sikh new year. It is considered one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar. Vaisakhi is historically the festival of spring harvest in Punjab, India.

“Sikhs have been part of the fabric Washington state for over a century,” Kaur said. “While millions all over the world commemorate one of the most historically significant occasions for Sikhs in the spring called Vaisakhi, we are excited to come together for our 26th annual Khalsa Day Celebration and Parade.”

Added Smith: “Sikhs Americans contribute immensely to Washington state, as innovative business owners, teachers, civic leaders and artists. The Sikh community is part of the great diversity that makes our community strong. I look forward to celebrating with my Sikh friends, neighbors and colleagues on Saturday.”

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