Sikh Community Hosting Sacramento Valley’s Largest Devotional & Cultural Celebration This Weekend

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27th Annual Yuba City Sikh Parade highlights the traditional ceremonial weekend for Sikhs from around the USA.

People come for the weekend, they stay in our hotels, buy gasoline and groceries along with shopping in our mall

The 27th annual worldwide gathering of Sikhs in Yuba City begins this week ( An estimated 60,000 Sikhs are expected to gather for a weekend of devotion and celebration.

In California, Sikhs from Temples or Gurdwaras in Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, San Jose, El Sobrante, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, San Jose, Fremont, San Diego and Orange County are preparing floats for the Sikh Parade and making preparations to attend.

It is customary and almost fitting that Sikhs return to Yuba City to celebrate the commemoration of the receipt of the Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh Holy Book) in 1708, presented by the Sikhs tenth and final Guru (spiritual teacher) Gobind Singh as a perpetual spiritual guide. “People of all races, religions and gender are invited to join with the Sikh community to share in the message of universal love and brotherhood / sisterhood as taught in the Guru Granth Sahib”, said Didar Singh Bains, President, Sikh Temple Gurdwara Yuba City.

For many Sikhs, Yuba City is a return home, as the area became the first place that many Sikhs settled when they arrived in America more than 100 years ago. Many second and third generation Sikhs have left the agricultural region and settled in larger cities across America but return to Yuba City each year for a reunion with family and friends.

“This event is important for our youngsters”, said Jaswant Singh Bains, Director, Sikh Temple Gurdwara. “We teach values that will make our youngsters productive members of society. Sikhism teaches community service, hard work, honesty and respect. I think any community would value those character traits”, added Bains.

The weekend begins on Friday morning with the traditional 48 hours of prayer and the reading of scripture from the Guru Granth Sahib. On Friday night, Yuba City neighbors will be treated to a spectacular Fireworks display starting at 7 pm on the Gurdwara grounds. On Saturday, the Gurdwara is hosting a free lunch, guided tours and a seminar. The weekend ends Sunday with the four-mile long parade through the streets of Yuba City.

To feed the masses, volunteers at the Sikh Temple Gurdwara have already started preparing the 200,000 free meals. The free meals served to visitors and guests over the weekend honor the Sikh commitment to a core value of Sikhism called Seva (say-va), which means daily selfless service to humanity. And the value that gave spark to the Red Cross & other humanitarian aid organizations.

Food consumption this weekend includes:

  •     30,000 pounds each of rice and onions.

60,000 pounds of wheat flour

  •     40,000 pounds each of lentils, potatoes, and cauliflower
  •     20,000 gallons of water, soft drinks and tea

“The Sikh Temple Gurdwara Yuba City is open year around for anyone in need of a place to sleep or eat,” said Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang, Director, Sikh Parade Public Relations Committee.

On the economic front, the Sikh community is providing an economic spark to the Yuba – Sutter economy through the spending of at estimated $20 million over the weekend. “People come for the weekend, they stay in our hotels, buy gasoline and groceries along with shopping in our mall”, said Kashmir (Kash) Singh Gill, former Chairman, Yuba-Sutter Chamber of Commerce and Director, Sikh Temple Gurdwara.

When the event began 27 years ago, the Sikh population in Yuba – Sutter County area was still in its infancy, just beginning to make its impact in the Sacramento Valley. Today, the area is home to one of the largest Sikh populations in the United States and a vital part of the area’s economic vitality. The Sikh community is known in the Sacramento Valley for its important contributions to the agricultural industry and to the medical profession.

Sikhism is over 500 years old, the fifth largest religion in world and the second largest faith in the Yuba -Sutter area.

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Ed Vasquez



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