Thousands celebrate Sikh New Year Vaisakhi festival in Gravesend

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Gravesend town centre was drenched in colour on Saturday as thousands turned out to celebrate the Sikh New Year.

The Vaisakhi festival not only marks the start of the New Year for adherents of the faith, but commemorates the year Sikhism was established in 1699.

The Nagar Kirtan procession began at the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara at 11.30am with readings from the Sikh holy book the Granth Sahib.

It passed in a loop round the town centre before returning at 2.30pm to the Guru Nanak Sports Field in Wellington Street.

The party continued there with a funfair, Sikh martial arts, interactive activities for children, food stalls and a performing arts stage.

CEO of the Kent Equality Cohesion Council Gurvinder Sandher, said: “The celebrations took months of planning and I am as ever very grateful to our partners and volunteers for working with us to make the celebrations such a success.

“I was very pleased with the positive response both in town and back at the Gurdwara where the different communities came together as one to celebrate Vaisakhi.”

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