Hola Mahalla begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. One of the organisers, Simran Singh, said: “The festival dates back to the 1700s. This is the first time we’ve ever held this event at Guru Nanak Gurdwara. “We had a few hundred people come along to celebrate […]
Hola Mahalla begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. One of the organisers, Simran Singh, said: “The festival dates back to the 1700s. This is the first time we’ve ever held this event at Guru Nanak Gurdwara.
“We had a few hundred people come along to celebrate throughout the day. There was something for the kids and something for the adults. “It’s a chance for everyone to get together and learn more about Sikhism.”At the event there were also poetry readings and music from children. The weekend celebration attracted people from Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham, with up to 400 guests coming along. Mr Singh continued: “Everyone here helping to run the event has given their time up for free.
“The younger members of the management committee helped to organise it. We’re hoping it will become an annual event in future. It is the first time we have done it. “We had Sikhs from most of the surrounding areas; Walsall, Wednesfield, Wolverhampton and Birmingham. We were really lucky with the weather.”
A range of vegetarian foods were available during the event, while there was also an ice cream van. During Hola Mohalla, which stands for ‘mock fight’, processions are organised, accompanied by war-drums and standard-bearers.
The custom originated in the time of Guru Gobind Singh, who held the first such mock fight event at Anandpur in India in February 1701. The popularity can be judged from the fact that out of five Sikh public holidays requested by the Khalsa Diwan, of Lahore in 1889, the Government approved only two – Hola Mahalla and the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Hola Mahalla is presently the biggest festival at Anandpur.
This annual festival in Punjab is now replicated at other Gurdwaras worldwide. It reminds the people of valour and defence preparedness, concepts dear to the Tenth Guru who was at that time defending the Sikhs from the attacks of the Mughal empire and the hill kings. On April 5, the Sikh community in Willenhall will be celebrating Vaisakhi with a procession from Wednesfield to the Guru Nanak Gurdwara. Thousands of people usually take part and they will be setting off from 10am. The celebrations will continue until 2pm. Mr Singh added: “That day the community will be coming together from all walks of life. Sikhism is for all people. ”Vaisakhi is one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar. It is the Sikh New Year festival and marks the creation of the Khalsa Order and making of Saint-Solider by Guru Gobind Singh Ji in 1699.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh!
~ Source: expressandstar.com