Redbridge gurdwaras get ready to celebrate Guru Nanak’s birthday

Birthday celebrations for the birthday of the founder of Sikhism kick off today with meditation, readings and fireworks planned.

Guru Nanak was the first of the 10 Sikh gurus.

Upkar Singh Rai, of the British Sikh Council, said: “He brought the message and religion to Sikhs and showed us how life can be lived positively. It was for humanity to live in harmony together.”

A firework display is due to happen at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, High Road, Seven Kings this evening from 8pm.

On Friday a 48-hour reading from the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book, will begin at 10.30am, along with meditation sessions and hymn singing.

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The reading will be completed on Sunday and will be followed by a firework display at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, North Street, Barking, from 8pm.

Mr Rai, of Seven Kings, said: “Meditation is a part of our culture and teaches us to be calm individuals of the camp of saint soldiers, who are willing to look after people and look after human rights.”

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Guru Nanak was born in 1469 in what is now Pakistan. It is believed his spirit descended on each of the following nine gurus. The 10th, Guru Gobind Singh, said there would not be any other living gurus. He said that any time Sikhs need guidance they should consult the holy book.

“The gurus spent time fighting for people’s rights,” Mr Rai said. “As individuals we speak for ourselves and everybody around us. Everybody has the right to live their way of life.”

Food will be served to people visiting the gurdwaras from the communal kitchen called a langar.

“This was something else started by Guru Nanak,” said Mr Rai. “People come to the temple all day long singing and sharing from the scriptures and eat lots of food.”

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