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YUBA CITY (CBS13) – Tens of thousands of people converge on Yuba City this weekend for the 42nd Nagar Kirtan, one of the region’s biggest events for the Sikh community.

Prayers among tens of thousands of people is a sound the Sikh community has been waiting to hear.

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Last year’s celebrations were canceled due to the pandemic, making the festival’s occurrence this weekend even more meaningful.

“When everyone gets together, it feels like you’re at home with everyone. And because of COVID this year, it’s so special and different, ”said Harlen Sidhu of Yuba City.

COVID precautions include dozens of spaced tents, large monitors to monitor prayers from outside to avoid overcrowding, sanitation stations and a health clinic offering vaccinations.

“We keep it open, we extend it, it’s over 4.5 miles,” said Sarbjit Singh Thiara, the chairman of the city’s Sikh temple board.

The three-day event celebrates religion, culture, and community with 72 hours of continuous prayer, traditional shopping, and free food, all in the hopes of sharing love with others.

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“We invite everyone to come. The world we live in right now, this way we can all heal and move on, ”said

For parents like Manjid Maheru, it is a tradition that he passes on to his son.

“We come here to stay with our roots,” Maheru said. “I was born in India and he was born here and I want him to embrace Sikhism so that he can learn what it is.”

The first day ended with a fireworks display, sparking the joy of families who were already planning for next year.

“It’s really nice to be here. You kind of miss it and you are already looking forward to next year, ”said Gurjit Mann.

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On Saturday the festival will have a flag ceremony. On Sunday, 100,000 people alone are expected for the parade which will begin at the temple and pass through Yuba town.

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