SELMA – The 25th Annual Sikh Parade was celebrated on April 14 with prayers, a parade and free meals at the Sikh Center of the Pacific Coast. The event marks the anniversary of the beginnings of the Khalsa, or baptized Sikhs.
The word ‘Sikh’ means disciple or student and their faith was founded in India in 1469 by Guru Nanak and built upon by the nine prophet teachers who succeeded him.
In 1699 the tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, chose the Vaisakhi harvest festival celebration as the occasion to transform the Sikhs into a family of soldier saints, known as the Khalsa Panth.
Their faith includes teachings of One God, equality for all mankind, speaking against injustice, condemning superstitions and intoxications, earning an honest living through hard work, sharing with others, supporting the community and remembrance and meditation on God.
There are 22 million Sikhs worldwide and more than five million in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.
The Vaisakhi celebration included a colorful parade where men, women and children of all ages dressed in traditional garb paraded through Selma with their sacred scriptures at the forefront of the procession. Here are some scenes from the annual event.