Nagar Kirtan (Punjabi: ਨਗਰ ਕੀਰਤਨ) is a Sikh custom involving the processional singing of holy hymns throughout a community. While practiced at any time, it is customary in the month of Visakhi (or Vaisakhi). Traditionally, the procession is led by the saffron-robed Panj Piare (the five beloved of the Guru), who are followed by the Guru Granth Sahib, and the holy Sikh scripture—which is placed on a float. Commonly, members of the procession are unshod in deference to the displayed scripture. Likewise, many cover their heads and don the colour saffron or orange. The road before the procession is cleared by Sewadars. Bystanders bow their heads to the scripture. Food may be provided to them from floats that follow the Scripture or from stationary points near the vicinity of the procession. The procession concludes at the Gurudwara or other nominated public area with Ardas (prayer).
On 29th April George Street turned into a sea of Gold celebrating Vaisakhi 2017, during Nagar Kirtan Organised by Queensland Taxi owners and Drivers Welfare association and Brisbane Sikh Community Welfare Association, the Nager Kirtan was organised on behalf of and with the support of; Eight Miles Plains Gurudwara, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara – Inala, Singh Sabha Brisbane Gurudwara – Taigum, Khalsa-Kaumi Shaheedan Gurudwara Sahib – Mackenzie, Gold Coast Gurudwara – Helensvale.
The coming together of the five Gurdwaras in this very successful Nagar Kirtan was very pleasing, the organisers thanked all five Gurudwaras for the unity and support, as five is a very auspicious number in Sikhism.
Three Gurudwars provide $5000 each for start-up funding need to organise the event. Brisbane City Council provided Roma Street Parklands for Free and Queensland Police provided the escort and associated services for free.
The procession began at parliament house and finished at the amphitheatre in Roma Street Parkland. Apart from the three Gurudwaras many community members donated funds for the Nagar Kirtan in the true community spirit; everything was donated for the successful running of the event.
The event has been in the planning for over three years and the support of Indian Students and taxi drivers who were the driving force behind the very successful Nagar Kirtan. At Roma street Parklands the dignitaries included Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, police commissioner, Ian Stewart, Minister Mark Bailey, Steve Minnikin MP and Steve Dickson MP, The support of Councillor Angela Owen was acknowledged, though she could not be present due to other conflicting commitments.
Due to restrictions, special condition and regulations the full Gatka could not be performed, the organisers thanked the Gatka team for being understanding. All the sewadars were thanked for their valuable contributions towards making this event a huge success. Next Nagar Kirtan is planned to be organised in April 2018, wider Australian community in invited to take part.