California Foodways

California Foodways


Season 3 Episode 1: Sikh Festival Reminder of Century-Old Farming History

November 10, 2020

Last month a parade drew over 80,000 people to the Sacramento Valley. Before any floats passed, people in colorful clothing and turbans sprinkled water on the street and swept the concrete, cleansing the route. They were celebrating a holiday of the Sikh faith: the 500-year old religion from India's Punjab region. This gathering in Yuba City is the largest of its kind in the U.S., because Sikhs have lived in this farming community for over 100 years.


 


In a normal year, this would be a very busy time in Sutter County. November’s when 80,000 people come to Yuba City in the Sacramento Valley to celebrate a holiday of the Sikh faith. That’s the 500-year-old religion from India’s Punjab region. This gathering is the largest of its kind in the U.S. because Sikhs have lived in this farming community for over a century. Because of the corona virus, the celebration’s off this year, but I’ll take you back to 2016 when I stood on the parade route, watching people in colorful clothing and turbans sprinkling water on the street and sweeping the concrete before the parade began.