Livingston Sikhs Host Lively Parade

March 28, 2006

Source: The Modesto Bee

On March 28, 2006 The Modesto Bee reported, "Livingston's annual Sikh parade courses along what may be the most blessed route in Merced County. Before a single float set out on its journey Sunday, a team of barefoot, broom-wielding marchers swept the street clean and sprinkled the route with holy water. The parade, to honor the religion's 10th and last guru, or spiritual teacher, Gobind Singh, began shortly after noon with a canopied float displaying the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, easing its way through the gates of the Sikh temple and onto Peach Avenue. Behind it walked about 4,000 faithful on a two-mile route from the Peach Avenue temple to the B Street temple across town. There, worshippers stopped for snacks and prayers, then returned to the Peach Avenue temple for final prayers and a shared meal that is part of the Sikh faith. In India, the parade -- called Hola Mohalla, or 'mock fight' -- features swordsmen on horseback performing mock battles to demonstrate martial-arts skills. It is held on the first day of the lunar month of Chet, which usually falls in March, and was instituted by Gobind Singh as a time for military-preparedness exercises... In Livingston, the parade was a peaceful river of color flowing through dusty streets. A half-dozen flatbed trucks festooned with shiny gold streamers, roses and portraits of the 10 Sikh gurus served as floats."