More than 400 people join Portsmouth Sikh community for huge celebration at Southsea temple
Anyone was welcome to join in with commemorating the 550th anniversary of the birth of the religion’s first leader, Guru Nanak Dev Ji, at Gurudwara Guru Nanak Sar in Margate Road on Tuesday.
Guru Nanak Dev Ji is a universal prophet respected amongst all religions including Islam.
Guests throughout the day included council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and more than 50 Scouts and Scout officers to join in with the fun, with people arriving from the Isle of Wight and all areas surrounding Portsmouth.
Many local traders donated prizes to the raffle, which organisers said was a great success, including donations from Southsea Fruit and Veg, Tangier Road Butchers, Family Tattoo in Tangier Road and Casa De Castro Café in Albert Road.
Religious chanting was performed by Raghbir Singh Bains, a local musician who is a member of the Sikh temple in Portsmouth.
Lots of food was given out to visitors, following the Sikh Langar, which is the term used for the community kitchen in a Gurdwara where a free vegetarian meal is served to all visitors, no matter what religion.
There were fireworks, as well as a priest who read the prayer Sukhmani Sahib, which translates to prayer of peace and joy of mind.
Jaswant Singh said: ‘The evening was a grand success and we hope to hold more such events.
‘We take this opportunity to remind everyone the Sikh temple will open on December 31 to welcome the new year in at midnight.
‘Again lots of pomp and splendour will be involved, so please book this date and do come.’
Earlier this year, it was announced that 550 trees will be planted this autumn to mark the anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s birth.
It comes as part of a worldwide move to plant 1 million trees in celebration of the event, which is traditionally honoured in November.
An official tree planting ceremony will take place on the Western Road roundabout in Northarbour at 11am on Saturday, November 23.