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Sikh festival Vaisakhi to be celebrated by thousands in Gravesend

PUBLISHED: 15:58 11 April 2011

Gravesend; 12-04-08; Vaisakhi

Gravesend; 12-04-08; Vaisakhi

Archant

» More than 5,000 worshippers from across the country are to take part in the borough's vibrant Vaisakhi celebrations on Saturday.

Gravesend will come alive with a sea of orange as thousands sing and dance by joining the colourful Nagar Kirtan (procession) to mark the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi.

The procession sets off from the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, in Guru Nanak Marg – the newly re-named road that leads to the Gurdwara from Saddington Street, Gravesend.

Celebration

It will pass through the town centre, via the Guru Ravidas Gurdwara in Brandon Street and the old Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Clarence Place, before returning to the new Gurdwara.

Jaspal Singh Dhesi, president of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara, said: “Celebrations of the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi in Gravesend will reach a peak at the weekend with the main religious service in the Gurdwara to celebrate Vaisakhi.

“Over recent weeks, work has continued to complete some of the unfinished sections of the Gurdwara and to prepare for Vaisakhi.”

A significant feature is the installation of two magnificent new chandeliers (each 10 feet in diameter and height), imported from China, beneath the domes in the main worship hall and lobby.

Martial

The procession, which will leave the new Gurdwara at 11am, will include the Panj Pyare and flag bearers, Guru Granth Sahib within a model of the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) and Sangat (a congregation) from the Guru Nanak and Milan Day Centres for the elderly, reciting Kirtan.

Sikh martial art demonstrations, known as Gatka, will also be given by the Baba Fateh Singh Gatka Akhara.

Cultural, social and sports groups, schools and emergency services will be represented.

It is expected to return to the Gurdwara at 2.30pm.

Celebrations will continue the day after as a Gurpurb (celebratory service) is being held at the new Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara.

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