Thousands of participants lined the streets of west Abbotsford for the annual Nagar Kirtan procession on Sunday.

Thousands of participants lined the streets of west Abbotsford for the annual Nagar Kirtan procession on Sunday.

Annual Sikh Nagar Kirtan parade draws crowds

Popular community event involves hymn-singing, various floats



Thousands gathered for the annual Nagar Kirtan procession in the Blueridge/Townline area of west Abbotsford today.

The Sikh parade started at the Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar at 11 a.m. and proceeded in a circuit on Blueridge Drive, Townline Road, Southern Drive, Sandpiper Drive and Blue Jay Street until 4 p.m.

In Nagar Kirtan, which means “neighbourhood hymn-singing” in Punjabi, traditional hymns are sung as the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, Is brought in a procession around the neighbourhood atop an honored float. The procession is held at this time of year to commemorate an important event in Sikh history, the establishment of the holy scripture.

The Abbotsford event draws thousands from across the Lower Mainland each year, and this year’s parade participants included martial arts demonstrators, the Sikh Motorcycle Club, and a variety of elaborate community floats as well.