Hola Mohalla is the annual occasion when Sikhs meet there to pay respect to Shiri Guru Gobind Singh Ji and show their martial spirit

photographs by Massimo Pacifico

Anandpur Sahib, is about 95 km north-west of Chandigarh, in the Rupnagar district (Roper) in the state of Punjab, India. It is nestled between the Shivalik hills in the east and Sutlej River in the far west. It is considered the holiest place of the Sikh religion where Shiri Guru Gobind Singh Ji spent 25 years of his life teaching and guiding his disciples.”When the devotees visit the place they reach the Guru’s Abode and are blessed”, this belief has been observed by thousands of devotees visiting the shrine for many centuries. Hola Mohalla, is the occasion when the whole area is accomplished with the martial spirit. This is the correct time to visit the place. 10th Guru, Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared that the festival of colors ‘Holi’ would be celebrated as Hola Mohalla. On the occasion, his people used to display the martial spirit to the fellow citizens. It is estimated that 100,000 devotees from all over the country visit Anandpur Sahib every year during the festival.

During the three-day festival, all the Gurudwaras (the places of worship for Sikhs) are decorated, and community conferences take place, followed by religious functions. Moreover, a huge procession of Nihangs (armed Sikh warriors) is organized and people dress up in traditional outfits and carry weapons (traditional Nihang dress is known as Khalsa Swarupa, this is made up of a superb electric-blue full attire). On the third day, the procession passes through the headquarters of Nihangs, the market, and reaches the fort of Holgarh. Holgarh, which is the place where Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji used to celebrate all festivals and fairs. The occasion also includes martial art games, horse riding, tent pegging, sword wielding and so on.

The festival takes place on the first of the lunar month of Chet which usually falls in March: on the 21st in 2019

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