On May 26, thousands of Sikhs gathered in Kent for Khalsa Day to celebrate the foundation in 1699 of the Khalsa, the community of Sikhs.
This annual festival and parade has drawn Sikhs from all over Washington to Kent for more than 25 years. This year, Secretary of State Kim Wyman joined the celebration and told the audience of her admiration for the Sikh tradition of Seva.
Seva, or selfless service, is part of the Sikh dedication to work toward the common good, and is expressed by Sikhs worldwide through civic or community work and volunteering. Many Sikhs provide meals to the needy, contribute to charities, and perform other public services to carry out this religious duty to help uplift humanity.
Kent’s Khalsa Day celebration also featured free vegetarian food — part of the Sikh langar tradition of providing a free communal meal for all visitors to a Gurdwara, or place of worship — as well as prayers, education about Sikhism, and information to showcase Sikhs’ contributions to society.
Images courtesy of Sangam Studios – Kent, WA.