Sikhs Gather to Honor Birthday, Anniversary

November 17, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: SALDEF

A whirlwind of color, a cascade of blossoms and a cacophony of prayer in Fairfield on Sunday heralded the 540th birthday of the Sikhs' first prophet and the 300th anniversary of their Holy Book being named their living guru.

Thousands of men, women and children dressed in vibrant-hued finery gathered at Guru Nanak Sikh Temple on Rockville Road to honor Guru Nanak Dev Ji and their holy Xure, Guru Granth Sahib. The latter was proclaimed the living or eternal guru in 1708 by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, the 10th and final human prophet.

Live music, prayers and speeches punctuated the festivities, held for the first time outdoors.

"We wanted to do something different, something special," said Paul Singh Hayer, an event coordinator.

Officials came up with the idea of situating white tents on the temple grounds, one of them shading the Holy Book, which rested on a bed of embroidered velvet.

The larger tent sheltered the temple-goers, who made obeisance to the Holy Book before seeking a seat among fellow worshippers.