Calgary Sikhs celebrate founder's 550th birthday
Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism
Tens of thousands of Calgarians have been celebrating Guru Nanak's 550th birthday Tuesday.
Guru Nanak was the founder and first guru of the Sikh faith, born in 1469.
Up to 30,000 Sikhs were expected to take part in celebrations throughout the day and evening at the Dashmesh Culture Centre in northeast Calgary.
Sikhism is one of the world's youngest religions with around 30 million followers worldwide. In India Guru Nanak's birth anniversary is a public holiday.
"His teachings were that he spoke of one God, universal brotherhood, love, humility, simplicity, equality and tolerance," said Amanpreet Singh Gill, president of the Dashmesh Culture Centre.
"He didn't restrict himself to one religion. He chose to embrace all the good teachings of all the faiths," said Gill.
"It's very special for us. He taught us about humanity, love, equality and how to respect women," said Amandeep Kaur Tumber.
As well as religious celebrations and food for worshippers, organizers are hosting a food drive for the veterans food bank.
"We welcome everyone to donate food and these items will be given to the food bank in honour of Guru Nanak," said Gill.
The celebrations conclude with a fireworks display Tuesday evening.