Thousands take part in Wolverhampton Vaisakhi procession - PICTURES and VIDEO
Thousands of Sikh worshippers took part in a sunlit procession as part of the annual celebrations marking Vaisakhi.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 people gathered outside the Guru Nanak Gurdwara in Well Lane, Wednesfield this morning in a tradition which dates back centuries.
As is tradition, the procession was led by a drummer, followed by sword bearers, Khalsa flag bearers and a float carrying the Sikh holy book, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The celebration marks the anniversary of the initiation of the first five members of the brotherhood of the Khalsa on April 13, 1699 – one of the most significant dates in Sikh history – as well as ushering in spring.
Following prayers the procession began its three mile journey to the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara on Walsall Road, Willenhall.
Among the dignitaries at the celebration was Wolverhampton Mayor Barry Findlay, who said: "It is a great community event, and an important part of my mayoral role. And they brought the sunshine!"
Wednesfield South councillor Greg Brackenridge added: "The Sikh community contribute a lot to the area and events like this are wonderful.
"It was the Sikh community who came together to fundraise for the church clock nearby. They are a valued part of the community."
Also at the event was Councillor Paul Singh, who said: "Vaisakhi celebrates the birth of the Khalsa. We expect to see around 2,000 to 3,000 people here today. "
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