The Sikh American community of Southern California will be featured for the fifth time in a row at the annual Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2019.
This year, the theme for the Rose Parade is the “Melody of Life” – celebrating the universal language of music and so the Sikh American float will highlight kirtan and feature 119,000 flowers that bring together several elements emphasizing the religious significance music holds in the Sikh community and faith.
Five local Sikh musicians will join other Sikh community leaders on the float as they play kirtan throughout the parade.
“Growing up in California, it’s incredible to now consistently see a Sikh float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. The universal language of music resonates with everybody and we can’t wait to further introduce Americans to the Sikh community through our musical traditions,” Bhajneet Singh, a member of the Sikh committee responsible for the float entry for the fifth consecutive year, is quoted saying in a press release.
Kirtan is the tradition of singing Sikh devotional music that dates back to the formation of the Sikh religion in Punjab over 500 years ago.
Even today, this music remains a primary form of Sikh worship and can be observed in gurdwaras across the world.
Additionally, the tradition of passing along the musical training to the next generation of Sikhs in America proudly continues in gurdwaras and institutions across Southern California.
Nearly 500 volunteers will helped in building the Sikh Tournament of Roses float at the Phoenix Decorating Company in Irwindale, California.
“The Southern California Sikh community continues to invest significant time, money and resources into the Rose Parade because it’s an incredible opportunity for us to deepen local community relationships while better educating Americans about who Sikhs are,” Minu Singh, the creative director of the Sikh float, is quoted saying in a press release.
The Tournament of Roses, which is broadcast across the United States, is a 130-year-old American tradition that attracts up to one million visitors each year.