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Hola Mohalla: Significance, history and celebration | Read in Detail

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- March 25th 2024 05:56 PM
Hola Mohalla: Significance, history and celebration | Read in Detail

Hola Mohalla: Significance, history and celebration | Read in Detail

PTC Web Desk: Hola Mohalla, also known as Hola, is a Sikh festival celebrated with great fervour and enthusiasm. It falls annually in the month of March, usually a day after the Hindu festival of Holi, which signifies the arrival of spring. Hola Mohalla holds significant historical and cultural importance within the Sikh community. It is celebrated primarily at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, where thousands of Sikhs gather to participate in various martial arts displays, processions, and other festivities.

Read in detail the significance, history and the ways in which Hola Mohalla is celebrated.


Significance of Hola Mohalla

Hola Mohalla is celebrated to honour the valor and martial spirit of the Sikh community. It serves as a reminder of the core principles of Sikhism, which include courage, selflessness, and readiness to defend the oppressed. The festival also reinforces the sense of community and unity among Sikhs, as it brings people together from different walks of life to participate in various activities.

holla mohalla

History of Hola Mohalla

Hola Mohalla was initiated by the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, in the late 17th century. It was first celebrated in Anandpur Sahib in 1701 AD. The Guru organised the festival as a gathering of Sikhs for military exercises and mock battles, aimed at training them for self-defense and protection of their faith against oppression. The term "Mohalla" refers to an organised procession or an army column, while "Hola" signifies the act of attacking. Hence, Hola Mohalla can be interpreted as a "mock fight" or "mock battle."

Guru Gobind Singh Ji transformed the Sikh community into a martial community, emphasising the importance of physical fitness, combat skills, and readiness to defend righteousness. Hola Mohalla became an annual event, continuing even after the Guru's time, as a way for Sikhs to maintain their martial traditions and foster a sense of solidarity.

Celebration of Hola Mohalla

The celebration of Hola Mohalla lasts for three days, starting from the day after Holi. It begins with early morning prayers followed by various martial arts demonstrations, including Gatka (traditional Sikh martial art), mock battles, sword-fighting, and horse-riding skills. Sikhs from different parts of the world gather at Anandpur Sahib to participate in these activities.

Apart from martial displays, Hola Mohalla is also marked by religious processions known as Nagar Kirtan, where Sikhs sing hymns and carry the Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh holy scripture) in a decorated palanquin throughout the streets. The atmosphere is filled with devotion, joy, and camaraderie as people from all walks of life come together to celebrate.

During Hola Mohalla, langars (community kitchens) are set up to provide free meals to everyone, irrespective of caste, creed, or religion. This tradition, known as "Pangat," emphasises the Sikh principle of equality and serves to foster a sense of brotherhood and humility.

 

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