The Nagar Kirtan

Members of the Sikh community in Middlesbrough gather outside the Gurdwara Sikh Temple before making their way through town during the Nagar Kirtan Sikh parade on July 21, 2019 in Middlesbrough, England.

The Sikh festival celebrates love, happiness and peace and involves people from all backgrounds and religions.

The colourful parade is held to mark the anniversary of the birth of the eighth Guru of the Sikh faith, Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji.

Groups of Sewadar spray the road with water, followed by groups with sweeping brushes ahead of a float carrying priests and the Sikh holy scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib as Sikhs consider the Guru Granth Sahib to be a living Guru, so out of respect the road ahead is swept.

Leading the float, five men representing the Panj Pyare – the five beloved – walk barefoot and carry swords while hymns are sung and drums are pounded. Ahead of all of them come a group who practice Gatka, a Sikh martial art.

Image (c) Ian Forsyth / Getty Images

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