One of the most colourful events of 2018 in Te Puke is to be repeated in 2019.

Last October, Bay of Plenty Sikh Society organised a parade from the Te Puke's Sikh Temple in No 3 Rd to the town centre and back again.

The parade was a resounding success and Bay of Plenty Sikh Society secretary Lehmber Singh says around 2000 people took part in the colourful celebration.

But because it was held over Labour Weekend, there were many who had other commitments and were unable to attend.


For that reason, this year's parade will be held a month earlier, on September 28, and is likely to attract even more people.

Lehmber says a lot of Sikhs work in the kiwifruit industry, but that September is a time when they are not as busy, so will hopefully be able to attend.

One other change to this year's parade is the route. The parade will again start from the temple in No 3 Rd, but will head south and turn left into Atuaroa Ave before making its way on to Jellicoe St where it will turn right towards the town centre, avoiding the roundabout where No 3 Rd meets the Te Puke Highway.

''Last year there was a big hold-up on the roundabout,'' says Lehmber.

The weekend-long celebration - or Gurpurab - marks the birthday of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, with this year the 550th anniversary of his birth.

''Celebrations are being held all over the world where Sikhs are.

''It is an opportunity where we can tell the community what our religion preaches and what we do.''

Guru Nanak set down the three basic principles of Sikhism - work hard, always remember God, God is one, and share joy and success.


Guru Granth Sahib Ji, the principal scripture of Sikhism, will travel with the parade on a truck with sweepers - or Sewadars - walking in front to ensure that everywhere the scripture goes is symbolically clean.

As well as the colourful spectacle, a feature of the parade is the handing out of drinks and food and this, says Lehmber, is one way of sharing joy and success.

''When you are happy and have success, you should share your happiness and success with the community,'' he says.

The parade will begin at 11am, making its way to the town centre before retracing its steps back to the temple where food and drink will be served.