Religious Diversity News

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Yuba City Punjabi Mela Attended by Thousands

Source: SikhNet

On June 9, 2006 SikhNet reported, “What started off as an experiment way back in 1995 has evolved into one of California’s largest ticketed events. Held on the last Sunday of May, this fiesta is a much-awaited event and attended by people not only from the Yuba- Sutter area but also from neighboring states and Canada.

Northern California awoke to a sunny spring morning May 28. All roads led to Yuba City- a sleepy farming town about forty miles North of Sacramento. The Yuba Sutter fairground was buzzing with activity as the volunteers gave the final touches to the stage, the sound system, and the decorations.

People began to arrive early to avail the best parking spots. The stage program kicked off with the National Anthem and Shabad. What followed can, at best be described as the finest display of Punjab’s rich culture and heritage by about twenty Bhangra and Giddha groups. These groups comprised all ages- kids barely five years old to teenagers to grandmothers to grandfathers.”

Yuba City Punjabis, Sikhs Raise Funds for Victims of Katrina

Source: SikhNet News!OpenDocument

On September 12, 2005 SikhNet News reported, “[A] fundraising event [in Yuba City, California] organized by [the] Punjabi American Heritage Society (PAHS) raised $21000 and more donations are still coming. All proceeds from this event will be given to [the] local Chapter of [the] American Red Cross. [A] local restaurant, City Café, hosted this event… [which] was attended by about one hundred guests. Guests included Americans of all backgrounds. Individual donations ranged from $5 to $3200. PAHS also donated $500 to Mr. John Black, radio host of KUBA, [a] local radio station. He is driving [a] truckload of supplies to Houston to help displaced victims of [the] hurricane.”

Yuba City Sikh Family Honored as Sutter County Family of the Year

Source: Appeal-Democrat

On December 3, 2005 the Appeal-Democrat reported, “Faith, family and community are the central pillars around which the lives of the Dr. Paramjit S. Everest family revolve.

The focus earned them the title of Sutter County Family of the Year in ceremonies at River Valley High School in Yuba City… 51-year-old Everest, a dentist in the area… and his wife, Surinder K. Everest, have three children – daughters Amarpreet, 15, and Harkiren, 9, and son, Harpreet, 20. His parents, Hari S. Everest, 89, and Amar K. Everest, 81, live with the family in the Tierra Buena area at the west edge of Yuba City… Everest is a volunteer for the annual Hersey track meet, coaches basketball, helps out at the nearby Sikh Temple, is dental adviser to the area Headstart program and is a past president and founding member of the Punjabi-American Society… Surinder Everest is a part-time school teacher and has made it a point, along with her husband, to attend school, temple and community events family members are involved in.

A worker in the literacy program at the Sutter County Library, she said she encourages her children to do their best in everything they do for themselves, the family and the community.”

Yuba City Sikh Parade Commemorates 300th Anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Sikh Net

For the 29th straight year, Yuba City’s Sikh community will welcome Sikhs from all over the world to celebrate one of the holiest days on the Sikh calendar. The three-day event runs from October 31st through November 2nd and commemorates the receipt by Sikhs of the Guru Granth Sahib in 1708 as a perpetual spiritual guide that directs the Sikh faith.

“It is said that Guru Gobind Singh instructed his Sikhs to search for him within the Sacred Writings contained there, and to find enlightenment by meditating upon them”, said Kuldip Singh Atwal, Sikh Temple Secretary.

For many Sikhs, this isn’t a normal parade for them. “This is a celebration of our religion, our culture, and gratitude towards all our guru’s who lost their lives while believing and protecting our culture which is called Sikhism”, said Didar Singh Bains, President, Sikh Temple. The spirit of Guru Nanak will be felt throughout the weekend, which is: work hard and earn an honest living, pray and share your earnings with your fellow beings.

On Friday morning, October 31st, the day will begin with the traditional start of 48 hours of continuous readings of the Guru Granth Sahib, Nishan Sahib Sewa and then Paath of Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Friday evening ends with a spectacular display of fireworks at the Sikh Temple Yuba City expected to be attended by more than 25,000 people. “It’s 30 minutes of non-stop fireworks”, said Karm Bains, Sikh Temple Director. “These are five-inch canister fireworks that are usually only seen at the top fireworks shows in the country”, added Bains.

Yuba City Sikhs Hold 26th Annual Parade

Source: Yahoo! News / PRWEB

On November 7, 2005 PRWEB reported, “Another near record crowd today, estimated at 60,000 people, continues to make the 26th Annual Sikh Parade in Yuba City one of the Valley’s largest religious and cultural celebrations. The weekend activities honor the receipt by Sikhs of their Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, in 1708, which they use as their spiritual guide.

The four and a half mile parade through the streets of Yuba City drew parade participants from throughout the West Coast. The parade featured floats and a procession of thousands of Sikhs walking with the floats. In the Sikh tradition, anyone is free to join in the parade at anytime. As the parade left the Sikh Temple Gurdwara grounds to circle the city, a helicopter dropped rose-petals on the parade spectators from above… As thousands continued to congregate at the Sikh Temple following the parade to enjoy the free food and entertainment, volunteers continued to serve free meals. By the time the weekend comes to an end tonight, more than 200,000 free meals will have been prepared and distributed at no charge. ‘The Sikh Temple Yuba City is open 365 days a year for anyone in need of a place to sleep or a meal,’ said Dilbag Singh Bains, Chairman, Sikh Parade. Sikhs consider it a privilege and honor to serve people that come to their Temple.”

Yuba City’s Sikh Parade Draws Over 40,000

Source: The Appeal-Democrat

On November 5, 2001, The Appeal-Democrat reported, “Yuba City’s 22nd annual Sikh Parade brought a moving mass of humanity to Tierra Buena and Yuba City on Sunday. Organizers estimate 40,000 to 50,000 people attended…The event is considered by Sikhs to be the largest Sikh parade in the United States.” The article continued, “A group carried signs saying ‘There is one God for all creation,’ and ‘These we will defend,’ showing the American flag and the Sikh symbol.”

Yuba City’s Sikh Parade Draws Over 40,000

Source: The KCRA Channel

On November 4, 2001, The KCRA Channel reported on the annual Sikh parade, “which featured Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante walking among the procession’s leaders. The festivities had a decidedly patriotic theme. ‘I love America, it is my country,’ Stockton’s Paramjit Grewal said. ‘I love it. I am an American.'” The article noted, “An estimated 10,000 Sikhs live in the Yuba City area.”

Yuletide Traditions

Author: Elizabeth Huff

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Homes were once warmed by a fire in the hearth, and it was tradition to save the first log of the season to be burned in a Yule celebration.

Over time, fewer and fewer homes were built with a fireplace and the tradition faded.

Yet in small pockets of the community, the tradition remains.

At Sacred River Moon Metaphysical Spiritual Center in Battle Creek, Yuletide celebrations continue.

Christi Fleming, also known as Crowfox, is a high priestess at Sacred River Moon. She explained that during the Dec. 22 winter solstice – which is the shortest and darkest day of the year – family and friends gather for Yule Sabbat.

According to, Yule was the winter solstice celebration of the Germanic pagans. In Wicca, a form of the holiday is observed as one of the eight solar holidays, or sabbats, where Yule is celebrated on the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere on Dec. 21.