Bradford’s streets were awash with vibrant colours yesterday as about 10,000 Sikhs took part in an annual celebration of the birth of their faith.

Centuries of tradition were marked as a sea of orange and the roll of drums filled the city’s streets for the Nagar Kirtan – a Sikh custom involving the processional singing of holy hymns. The Vaisakhi festivities began at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, in Grant Street, which was bedecked with blue and orange flags.

The sun shone as crowds began to gather for the procession of Bradford’s six Sikh temples which began just before 11am.

Drummers from Soul Asia Dohol Academy and members of the Houghton Le Spring Pipe Band led the parade, with bearers of the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh holy flag, and a five-strong guard of honour, carrying ceremonial swords.

Over the next three hours, the parade wound its way through the city, taking in the Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara, in Bolton Road, the Gurdwara Amrit Parchar Dharmik Diwan, in Peckover Street, off Leeds Road, the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dev Ji, in Usher Street, off Wakefield Road and the Guru Ravidass Bhawan, in Brearton Street, off Manningham Lane.

The centrepiece of the procession, displayed on a float decked with garlands of flowers, was the Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the Sikh holy book.

Each year Sikhs from across the county congregate in Bradford to celebrate the event.

Vaisakhi is the most important festival for the Sikh religion, both socially and on a religious level, and this year it celebrates its 314th anniversary.

It is both the Sikh New Year Festival and the anniversary of the founding of the Khalsa in 1688 by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

Ranbir Singh Rai, president of the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, said the procession had been bigger and better than last year’s, which attracted 10,000 people from across the county.

“It’s gone very well, there have been so many people – more than last year. Everyone’s had a good time.”