Nagar Kirtan 2016 - Saturday May 14, 2016
- Sikh Day Parade
- Parade Info
- Event Schedule
- Open Exhibition
- Getting to the Event
- Walking Away Hunger Campaign
The annual parade will commence from Dashmesh Culture Centre (135 Martindale Blvd NE).
The parade will then proceed eastbound on Martindale Blvd towards Falconridge Blvd and turn right.
Once the procession reaches 64th Ave the parade will then turn right onto 64th Ave going west.
The parade will then turn right onto Martindale Gate and then right again on Martindale Blvd heading east.
What is a Nagar Kirtan?
Nagar Kirtan is a Punjabi term which means "Neighborhood Kirtan". "Kirtan" is a term describing the singing of Shabads (divine hymns). The term refers to the possession of Sikh Sangat (Congregation) through the town singing holy hymns. The concept of Nagar Kirtan is to bring the message of God to the doorstep of the community. It is very common for Nagar Kirtans to take place in multicultural communities, where participants and volunteers come from all backgrounds and religions. They are especially common during the month of Vaisakhi and take place all over the globe. The Sangat (congregation) walk behind the float and the Panj Pyare, singing shabads and enjoying the day. Food and drinks are often served from stationary points or from other subsequent floats.
What can you expect?
When participating in the Nagar Kirtan, one can find solace and peace even when walking with thousands. One can reach a state of Nirvana when indulging in the singing of Kirtan while following the Guru Granth Sahib. This is what the Nagar Kirtan is all about. There are young and old, Sikh, non‐Sikh that follow the Nagar Kirtan route, stand on the sides and freely distribute refreshments to all alike. The Nagar Kirtan is concluded as the sacred Guru Granth Sahib re‐enters the Gurudwara (Sikh temple) and the whole congregation stands still for the Ardas (concluding Prayer). You may notice that many members of the congregation take their shoes off on the streets while the Ardas is being read on the loud speaker – again this is purely a sign of respect of the Guru Granth Sahib Ji. It is also noticeable that the majority of the Congregation have covered their heads, this is a significant sign of respect to the presence of our sacred Guru Granth Sahib Ji.
Why does everyone bow their heads?
Everyone pays respect to the Sacred Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji (Sikh holy scriptures) by bowing their heads and are presented with Prashad (sacred food) by the sevadars (volunteers). Many in the possession may not wear any shoes, irrespective of weather conditions – this is due to the respect they show to their holy Scripture, the sacred Guru Granth Sahib.
Who are the Panj Pyare?
On the day of Vaisakhi, 1699, the Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, created the order of Khalsa by baptizing 5 individuals from each corner of India and from diverse backgrounds. These 5 beloved ones ‘Panj Pyare’ selflessly presented themselves at the call for their lives by the Guru, standing up amongst 80,000 and entering the tent where Guru Ji asked for the head of his Beloved Sikhs. To everyone’s amazement, the Panj Pyare came out of the tent alive and in glorious valour dressed in the 5 Ks, as they had the holy ceremony of being baptised by Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This was followed by the entire sangat (worshippers) participating in the sacred ceremony of being baptised.
Event Date: Saturday May 14, 2016
Event Location: 135 Martindale Blvd NE
10:00am Reciting of the Sikh National Anthem "Deh Shiva Bar Mohi Ihe" and Canadian National Anthem "O Canada"
Vendor Tents will be open to the public
10:15am Ardaas (Prayer) will initiate the Nagar Kirtan Parade at the Gurdwara (Dashmesh Culture Centre)
10:30am Nagar Kirtan parade will commence from the Gurdwara (Dashmesh Culture Centre)
02:30pm Nagar Kirtan parade will conclude at the Gurdwara (Dashmesh Culture Centre)
02:45pm Ardaas (Prayer) will conclude the Nagar Kirtan Parade at the Gurdwara
03:15pm Messages from honourable guests from the Main Stage
The Exhibition is a colourful display of religion, history, music, traditional martial arts, delicious free food and Indian sweets. Once the parade returns back to the Centre attendees will be able to get food and visit various different vendors spread out across the parking lot.
There will be various vendors spread out within the complex serving food and/or documentation related to their businesses. Please see the site plan for a detailed layout of the complex.
The Walking Away Hunger Campaign began in 2006 and is a community initiative led by the Sikh Youth of Calgary to help the less fortunate by raising funds and food donations. The goal is to work with the 1st Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s ideology of langar (free kitchen) by collecting for those in need.
In over six years, the Sikh Youth of Calgary has raised over $200,000 and non-perishable food donations for the Calgary Interfaith Food Bank. Food collection boxes will be set up at the Dashmesh Culture Centre prior to and during the parade.