While many Mumbaikars spent Sunday evening dancing or listening to a musical countdown on New Year’s Eve, a large group of the city’s Sikhs gathered at a Sion ground for prayers to usher in the New Year.
Over 20,000 Sikhs gathered in Sion during New Year’s Eve
Around 20,000 Sikhs are estimated to have gathered at the Guru Nanak High School grounds in Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar, Sion, during New Year’s Eve. The ‘Nava Saal Ate Prakash Purab’ or festival of light was jointly organised by the Guru Tegh Bahadur Kalgidhar Panchayati Sewak Jatha, the Guru Nanak Vidyak Society, and Sri Gurusingh Sabha, Dadar.
“We invited Ragis (devotional singers) from the Golden Temple (Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar). The gathering was so large that there were queues of people lining up to pay their respects to the Guru Granth Sahib (holy book) kept at the school Gurudwara,” said Puran Singh Banga, a member of the community from Chembur.
Prayers, Simran & Fireworks
Prayers and Simran (meditating on the name of God) were followed by a display of firecrackers. Because of the crowds, the programmes which started at 7.30pm ended only at around 2.30am on Monday, added Banga.
Sikhs in the city are preparing for the birthday celebrations of their 10th guru, Gobind Singh, on January 17. The main programme in the city will be held at the Diwanchand Ramsaran Compound, Wadala, also known as Gurupurab Ground.