White House celebrates 540th birthday of Sikh guru

The White House on Friday held a reception to mark the 540th anniversary of the birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion, The White House on Friday held a reception to mark the 540th anniversary of the birthday of the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Dev Ji. It was the first time Guru Nanak's birthday has ever been celebrated in the White House.

Nanak was born in 1469 in India, and went on to become the first of the ten founding gurus of Sihkism, the world's fifth largest organized religion.

Among the guests were members of the Sikh community from around the country, as well as the musical group the Sikh Kirtani Chanters from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.

President Barack Obama was unable to attend, but administration officials at the event included director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dr. John Holdren; White House Office of Urban Affairs Policy Director Adolfo Carrion; director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy Ann DeParle, and Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to Valerie Jarrett.