2008 Sikh Parade, Part 1

On November 2, 2008, our Hindi friends dragged us to Yuba City for the annual Sikh Parade. Yuba City is about 1.5 hour drive from the Bay Area. They want to go for the eats and I say why not travel 1.5 hours for free eats, so off we went on that cloudy November day. I had no clue nor background at all what this festival/parade was all about. Until I read Dennis Villegas' post about it here.

Someone said aloud the parade was about to begin. I took my eyes away from the delicious pakora I was munching and focused my sight on the road. And this is what I saw, people cleaning the way for the holy to pass by sweeping and throwing water (they used bottled water--what a waste I thought) on the road.
The parade begins. Yuba City has a sizable Sikh community. It has two Sikh temples; we know we got lost and went to the wrong temple :(

According to Wikipedia, in 2008, the estimated number of attendees was 80,000. I can't count that large, but I thought there were a lot of people there.

See, there were lots of people there. And in colorful shalwar kameez, saris, and turbans. A sight to behold.

I was told by a Sikh co-worker that this float carries the holy scripture of Sikhism, the Guru Granth Sahibji.
And guess who else participated in the parade? Young Sikhs who had blaring hip hop sound.

At the end of the parade route, there was picture taking. I thought the route was long. I estimated it at about a mile. My husband doubled my estimation. But according to Wikipedia, the route was 4.5 miles. The sidewalks of the parade route was filled with makeshift tents where they served free food. There are people who walks around handing out juices, sodas and bottled water. It was a delicious time both for my stomach and my eyes.


  1. Very interesting shots, photo cache!
    I'm like you, I didn't know there's such a thing like Sikh Parade until I read Dennis V's. post too.

    BTW, you made a comment about postcrossing in my blog ...excuse my ignorance, but what is that?

  2. Great shots and that looks like quite an interesting parade to attend. I agree that throwing bottled water on the road seems like quite a waste. Hopefully though they filled empty bottles with tap water. I do that quite a lot. I have a filter on my facet and I will fill up empty bottles for drinking water.

  3. It sounds and looks like you got your education that day, Maria!

  4. That is a huge amount of people.
    Nice pictures of this event!

  5. That is a big festival/parade... looks very colorful and interesting.
    Why the free food?

  6. How colourful! Is it really a parade more than a procession?

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  7. made me think of Dennis V. blog post about the sikh parade in the Phils. it was a nice mix of the tradition and younger generation of the Sikhs. although, i'm quite surprised to know that they can allow them to play hip-hop songs. hindi naman pala sila mahigpit. :)

  8. Hope you are well. I have to limit my time on the computer. I have to go back as it did not work properly. So I will be back under the laser Friday.:-)

  9. Wow great shots! looks like the Sikh parade is the same as everywhere in the world!

    So how did you find their food...my goodness, i'm now a big eater of chapati!

  10. I was struck by the men who wore orange and blue together. Sounds like you quite enjoyed this parade.

  11. Really interesting pictures. It's amazing there's such a large Sikh community in California. I used to live in Merced, and there was a large community in Livingston - the town was half migrant Mexican farmworkers and half Sikh. California is wonderful for its diversity.

  12. Its fascinating to know about a Sikh community in the Philippines. Who knew?

    And free food, too. I guess its a gesture of good will. Cool. :)

  13. It looks like an interesting event. So much activity and color around the place.

  14. Balle Balle! I hate I couldn't have seen this one for myself. So thanks for sharing!

  15. We will not be attending the Bridal Show this year as inclement weather is expected,


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