The joyful colour orange filled Bradford streets today as thousands of Sikhs marched through the city to celebrate the birth of their faith.
The parade was led by the Nishab Sahib, the Sikh holy flag and began at the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dev Ji on Usher Street and visited all six of the city’s temples as part of the festival of Vaisakhi.
Members of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha on Grant Street waited with traditional gifts of food and drink for the procession to make its way through the sunshine and gusting wind.
“The march is one way to promote the inclusive values of our faith,” said the temple’s secretary Parvinder Singh.
“While we believe in our one god, we also respect all other religions and are very much part of the Bradford community.”
Mr Singh explained the significance of the bright orange turbans and clothes worn at Vaisakhi.
“In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh decreed that we should wear orange to brighten the world with a joyful colour.
“We expect there will be at about 6,000 people from Bradford and all over the country taking part in today’s march,” said Mr Singh, whose temple has 500 worshippers every Sunday.
Baptised Sikhs strive to achieve a chivalric blend of soldier and saint which is shown by carrying a symbolic sword or “Kirpan.”
Other objects which must be worn at all times are uncut hair “Kesh”, a silver bangle “Kara, a comb “kangha” and undergarments “keshere.”