Happy Hola Mohalla and almost Sikh New Year!

I don’t know if it’s actually appropriate to say “Happy Hola Mohalla” or “Happy Sikh New Year”(doubt it) but these arethe awkward felicitations we’re going to have since we blog in English…

According to the Nanakshahi calendar (a solar calendar which begins on what’s understood to be the day of Guru Nanak’s birth in 1469), the new year is approaching. New Year’s Day falls on March 13th of the Gregorian (Western) calendar. And Hola Mohalla, which is celebrated according tothe Indian (lunar I think)calendar wascelebrated today (March 11) in Anandpur Sahib. Too many calendars.SV201100_2.JPG

I had the immense pleasure of going to a Hola Mohalla a fewyears ago and have to admit that it was thrilling. The roads leading to Anandpur Sahib were teeming with Sikhs from all over Punjab, and some from further parts of the country. Buses came fully loaded, as did tractors andtrucks with their backs open and passengers sitting inside, outside, and on top. Many people walked, some barefoot,from incredible distances. The roads were lined with sevadars serving langar to all the weary travellers- cha, samosay, cholay, pakoray! My mouth is watering at the memory… It was an amazing celebration and feeling of community. Gatka was fought, poetry was recited, and Holi revelers threw colors at anyonewithin range (such is the blend of celebrations in India… maybe everywhere for that matter).

Nihangs gathered to show off their weapons, athletic prowess and fighting techniques. Men of all ages- young and old-rode two horses at a time at full speed, standing up,(a few who had had too much bhang fell) down a long grassy field with the foothills that once gave their ancestorsrefuge frombattlein the backdrop. It was easy to imagine that it was 300 years agoand these Nihangs (except the ones who fell from too much bhang) were preparing for a real battle.

[some morepictures below the fold]

This year some Sikh organizations are trying to set a world record by holding the world’s largest blood donation camp outside Keshgarh Sahib.

To set a unique example by a community, various Sikh originations are going to hold worlds largest blood donation camp on the occasion of the Hola Mohalla celebrations on March 10 at the Sikh shrine of Keshgarh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib. About one million devotees are expected to arrive here on the occasion of Hola Mohalla celebrations here, when the huge blood donation camp will be organized. Large number of Sikhs and members of other communities are expected to arrive at Anandpur Sahib from all over India and Punjab to participate in the festival and donate blood. According to the Akal Purakh ki Fauj (meaning the Army of the Almighty), the camp will be one of the biggest blood donation camps in the world. The participating organisations had fixed the target for donating blood by 25,000 people in the first 24 hours, which would make it the biggest camp in the world, said Jaswinder Singh Advocate, Head Anand Pur Ki Fauj. The Guinness Book of World Records has been invited for the historic and biggest-ever blood donation camp, he added. [link]

I hope everyone in Anandpur Sahib is enjoying the celebration and that many of our readers celebrate the new year at smagums and gurdwara programs happening around the country.

From an earlier Hola Mohalla:

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6 Responses to “Happy Hola Mohalla and almost Sikh New Year!”

  1. Very nice website and a nice post for sikh new year

  2. It is an important online happy hola news for sikh new year. They did lot of things for this day. These articles are using to get more points and more informative services for our school students.

  3. This a good way to appreciate the teacher as they put their efforts to train students. UK dissertation Writers appreciates the teachers.

  4. bethe you says:

    Awesome Post…Thanks for sharing
    Absolutely brilliant
    happy new year

  5. Smith says:

    I was lucky enough to attend one of their ceremonies a few years back. I believe it was during the Hola Mohalla. The whole region is full of stalls offering drinks to people walking from distant places as refreshment and a place to rest for sometime. manufactured homes