Hola Mahalla- the Sikh festival
Hola Mahalla generally takes place after the Hindu festival i.e. Holi. Holi is a spring festival that commemorates the Hindu deity Krishna and the legend of Holika and Pahalad. Hola Mahalla is an occasion for the Sikhs to re-affirm their commitment to Khalsa panth. The ‘Hola’ word has been derived from Halla (Shout) meaning attack and hence ‘Mahalla’ for the place of attack- Holgarh in Anandpur Sahib.
An annual function held Hola Mahalla, at Anandpur Sahib for three day in Punjab. But the participants attend Anandpur Sahib for a week. On this occasion many of the devotees came here to celebrate Sikhism festival. It is one of the best most important sacred places of the Sikh and is closely linked with their religious tradition and history. The first Hola Mahalla was celebrated in AD 1670 a year after the birth of the Khalsa Panth.
Peoples on their doing some Sikhism activity or you can say that Sikh Olympics event which begins on the first day of the Luner month of chet in the NanakShahi calendar. Hola Mahalla was started by the Guru Gobind Singh, in the 18th century, when the last of the 10 Sikh Gurus, created an occasion for Sikhs to show off their Martial arts skills, Military exercises and hot mock battles. On this event many of the completion is conducted lasts for a week, and consisting of camping out and enjoying various displays of fighting powers and bravery.The ‘Nihang’ Sikhs means members of Sikh Army displays the swordsmanship and horse ridding. They perform daring feats such as Gatka, tent pegging, bareback horse-riding and standing erect on two speeding horses.
For people visiting Anandpur Sahib, Langers (Voluntary community kitchens) are organized by the local people as part of Sewa (Community Services). For meals which are an integral part of the Sikh Gurudwara, visitor sits together in hall and eats vegetarian food. This is called Langer or Prasad of Gurudwara. The quantity of this Langer is extremely big so there is big Kitchen or Mega Kitchen where all the experienced Chef are ready to makes Langer.
For this Langer all the raw materials like wheat, rice, flour, sugar, milk, vegetables and any other items are provided by the villagers living nearby. One can observe Langer at close quarters from different Sikh congregations welcoming pilgrims, devotees and visitors irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. All are the same from the view of Sikhism. All the peoples eating Langer at same place at Hola Mahalla.
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