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Annual Sikh parade to return to Squamish

On June 18, Squamish’s Sikh community will commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of The Fifth Guru, Arjan Dev Ji.
Squamish Sikh Parade
The Squamish Sikh parade processed throughout downtown in 2017.

A longstanding local tradition will once again grace the streets of town following a two-year hiatus imposed by COVID restrictions.

On June 18, Squamish’s Sikh community will host a parade from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of The Fifth Guru, Arjan Dev Ji.

It will be the 15th year of the local event, which was last held in 2019.

“The Squamish Sikh Society would be pleased and honoured if you will find the time in your busy schedule to attend the parade,” reads an announcement from the society.

“Please join us in making the parade a memorable event. We hope to see you there.”

Aside from a parade through downtown — starting at the Sikh Gurdwara temple (37947 Fifth Ave.) and ending Junction Park & O'Siyam Pavilion the religious event will include a short reading and presentations at O’Siyam Pavilion.

As part of the tradition of Guru Ka Langar, free food will be given to everybody on the parade route.

According to the Sikh faith, The Fifth Guru, who was killed in 1606, came to prominence amidst his sermons about the importance of equality and respect. He preached that all castes and all creeds were equal.

Guru Arjan Dev is credited as compiling and creating The Guru Granth Sahib, also known as The Adi Granth, which is a venerated holy book.

According to ancient lore, India’s then-emperor Jahangir felt threatened by Guru Arjan Dev’s growing influence and had him arrested and put to death for his faith.

The Fifth Guru was then forced to sit on hot iron plates while boiling hot sand was poured over his body. He was then chained and thrown into the river.

**Please note, this story was updated after it was first published to include the parade route.