Yesterday was the 21st annual Selma Sikh Day Parade. The streets of Selma were shut down for a colorful celebration. Thousands of people came out to celebrate the beginning of the Sikh new year. the parade has grown over the years, to nearly 8,000 people. It’s took three months of planning as volunteer work and cost around $40,000 to put on, including food, floats, permits and traffic control. Forty-five people were baptized Saturday as part of the commemoration.
The Parade had started at Sahib Sikh Center of the Pacific Coast, a temple in Selma, for the biggest Sikh celebration of the year: Vaisakhi. For centuries Vaisakhi has marked the spring harvest, which farmers traditionally celebrate with community festivals, and is regarded as the Sikh New Year. It became a holy occasion in 1699, marking when Guru Gobind Singh, the religion’s 10th spiritual leader, established a community of baptized Sikhs.