Punjab (Bandi Chhor)

  • The most commonly known festival of this state is the Bandi Chhor Divas.
  • Contrary to popular belief, both Sikhs and Hindus celebrate Diwali (the festival of lights) for distinct and different reasons.
  • Sikhs celebrate Diwali as Bandi Chorr Diwas (Prisoner Release Day).
  • It was the day that Guru Hargobind (The Sikh’s 6th Guru) was released from Gwalior Fort along with 52 Rajas (Kings).
  • Who held the strings attached to the dress of the Guru, hence the Guru was called Bandi Chhor.
  • Bandi Chhor Diwas is the anniversary of Guru Hargobind ji being released from the prison at Gwalior Fort.
  • In was on this day in 1619 A D.
  • The kind Guru Ji refused to leave the fort on his own and demanded release of other 52 Hindu Kings.
  • The Moghuls being the cunning rulers they were, decided on a compromise.
  • They said all the Kings that can hold onto your Chowla (gown) could walk out free along side you.
  • The Sikhs smartly made a special Chowla with 52 long strips (tassels) and all the prisoners walked free.
  • Guru Hargobind ji is known as Bandhi Chhor because the imprisoned ones (Bandhi) were released (Chhor) by Him.
  • Upon their return to Amritsar grand celebrations were held and Harmandir Sahib ji was illuminated with lots of lights and candles.
  • Gurbani Kirtan (Hymns) and prayers were performed.
  • Guru ji was always prepared to sacrifice his own freedom for the sake of other innocent lives.

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