- Organizers estimated over 200,000 people attended the three-day event held at the Gurdwara Sahib.
Hundreds of people congregated in Yuba City, a small city just north of Sacramento, California, to attend the 44th annual Nagar Kirtan Festival. The event, considered one of the largest Sikh gatherings outside of India, was held at the Gurdwara Sahib. Organizers told local media that they expected over 200,000 people, although no official number has been provided. The three-day event kicked off on Nov. 3 with a fireworks show. A parade was held on Nov. 5, with a float-bearing Guru Granth Shaib, ABC 10 reported.
Yuba City resident Jaskaran Heer told Fox40 that the Sikh community is thankful to have Yuba City serve as “a hub and a place” to celebrate with their family and friends. “It’s a good way to experience our culture, about the Sikh religion… we’re always happy to have more people come and see and learn more about the religion with us,” he said.
A report on Indian TV channel News 18 noted “a rift between two alleged Khalistani factions.” Citing sources, the news website said “one of the groups reportedly deployed a helicopter to flow a banner that said ‘Delhi Will be Khalistan,’” adding that the reason for the rift remains unknown.
News 18 further reported that Sikhs for Justice, a U.S.-based group that supports the secession of Punjab from India, announced “the American phase of Khalistan referendum, beginning Jan. 28, 2024.” The announcement comes just a day after SFJ’s legal counsel, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, urged the global Sikh community to “stop flying Air India” from Nov. 19,” the report added.
(All photos from Facebook posts of people who participated in the festival)