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Hola Mohalla Home > Punjab > Fairs And Festivals In Punjab > Festivals > Hola Mohalla

Hola Mohalla

Hola or Hola Mohalla is a famous festival fair that is organized on a grandeur scale at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab on the day after the Holi. This festival was, in fact, a practice that was started by the 10th Guru of the Sikhs, Shri Guru Gobind Singh. It was an exercise designed to strengthen the Sikh community physically and psychologically. This was done through extensive and rigorous military exercises and mock battles.

The festivities begin at Shivalik in Anandpur Sahib in Ropar district, which is situated to the northeast of Punjab. However, Hola Mohalla is now celebrated at all Gurudwaras in India and even abroad. The dance moves and the exercises that are a seminal part of the festivities remind people of the bravery of the warriors of Punjab and their ability to remain vigilant at all times to combat adversaries.

It is believed that Hola is derived from Holi, while Mohalla in Punjabi denotes an army column moving in an organized manner. During the festival, organized forms of possessions move from one gurudwara to another to the beats of war drums and accompanied by standard bearers.

Significance of Hola Mohalla

The festival of Hola Mohalla holds high religious significance and defines the unity of the Sikh community when danger strikes in the form of enemy attacks. The locals participate in the festivities with gusto and complete dedication. Energy levels of the participants are at an amazing peak when they display various warfare skills with great agility to the sounds of drum beats and cymbals.

Date of Hola Mohalla

According to the Nanakshahi calendar, Hola Mohalla begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet. It generally falls in March and may coincide with the Sikh New Year.

Celebration of Hola Mohalla

Celebrated for three days at a stretch, the festival sees members of community display their raw physical strength through stunts involving bareback horse-riding, sword fighting, archery, or balancing oneself erect on two horses racing at breakneck speed. Colors are splashed on participants and onlookers. They also enact Gatka or mock encounters and show off their skills at pegging of tents. Music and poetry competitions are also part of the festivities. The festival is the time when Sikhs rededicate themselves to the service of their fellow beings and reaffirm their faith in the Khalsa Panth.

Community Kitchens at Hola Mohalla

Langars or voluntary community kitchens are part of all Sikh festivities and Hola Mohalla is no different. These kitchens are set up by locals and form a constituent of the Sewa dharma or duty to serve others. Villagers, irrespective of their social standing, voluntarily offer to work at the langars. They also offer essentials, such as wheat flour, rice, vegetables and other edible commodities. Women cook and clean the kitchen after people visiting the place are served. Traditional Punjabi food is served to the pilgrims who sit on the ground in disciplined rows also called pangats.

Hola Mohalla is the only Government-approved Sikh holiday along with the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. It shows the immense popularity of the biggest Sikh festival held at Anandpur Sahib.

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