More than 3500 Sikhs marched through the streets of Tauranga on Saturday morning to celebrate one of the 10 great Sikh guru's birthdays.

Event organiser Puran Singh said this was the second year of the event after Tauranga City Council first granted permission last year. In 2014, 2500 people took part.

Mr Singh said the Auckland Sikh community also had a similar parade they put on every year but there were not many other events like this for the local Sikh community.

Tauranga had the largest Sikh community after Auckland, he said.


"The Tauranga Sikh community is growing. There are about 4000 of us all over the Bay of Plenty including Rotorua, Te Puke, Katikati and Whakatane."

Sikh followers from the North Island, including the Waikato, Gisborne, Hastings and Whakatane came to Saturday's event.

"We celebrate our God's birthday. It's a very peaceful event. We just want to show New Zealanders a bit of our religion, our culture, our leaders," Mr Singh said.

The day started off with traditional food and drinks, such as rose water and Indian sweets, at the Burrows St Sikh Temple known as Gurdwara Sri Kalgidhar Sahib Tauranga.

A procession including trucks, cars and people on foot then moved from the temple around the neighbouring streets. Mr Singh said everybody was welcome to the event and there was an upbeat mood as the crowd walked through the streets.

"Even New Zealanders came and took pictures of the parade. It was very amazing to see the interest in us."

He said the parade would become an annual event.