A large number of Sikh devotees celebrate the annual Hola Mohalla or Hola festival at Shri Anandpur Sahib. Get details on Hola Mohalla 2017 dates, information and celebrations.
Holla Mohalla is dedicated to the Sikh community especially the armed order called Nihang. It is an annual fair where Nihangs known for their brave acts going back to the days of Ranjit Singh, display their skills in martial arts in a unique yet traditional style. Since this day is celebrated after Holi, they also play holi by applying colors at each other. As part of an old tradition started by the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji at Anandpur Sahib, this fair shows the prowess of a dedicated army initiated by him called the Khalsa Panth. Hola witness the arrival of Nihangs in thousands at Anandpur Sahib to display their martial skills and promote religious beliefs. Dressed in their ceremonial garb, the Nihangs show astounding feats of combat, drills and 'gatka' or mock-battles to the people gathered there.
Hola Mohalla 2017 Dates
When: March 13th (Monday), 2017
Since Guru Gobind Singh held this event at Anandpur Sahib in the month of Chet, so it is considered auspicious to start the event and its accompanying activities on the first day of this month. The mélange of events draws on the tradition of Guru Tegh Bahadur who died defending the Hindus. The background of Holgarh lends the varied range of events an ineffable grandeur fit for an event of this magnitude.
Holla Mohalla Celebrations
Holla Mohalla festival in Punjab is celebrated with full vigour and commitment. To witness this annual event with its formidable display of martial art and sword fighting by Nihang Sikhs, the warrior class of Sikhs in simulated battles, thousands of people arrives at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab in India to celebrate this festival.
The Nihangs belong to the Khalsa Army and are distinctively set apart by their blue robes and orange turbans, complete with sashes that give them a dignified look. Their par excellence combat skills are further reinforced by the use of horses and other animals used in battles. The dexterity in the use of weapons can be seen in the fluid motions that replicate the energetic movements in actual battles. The ceremonial line-up of Nihangs brandishing ornamented spears and swords.
This is also an apt platform to honour both brave as well as spiritually-evolved Sant and Babas. Young fighters who learn under the tutelage of veterans of the weaponry techniques display various maneuvers with knives, daggers, and swords. The horse riding by the Nahib Sikh Army is a treat to watch as they engage in several dare-devilry acts which typically include Gatka-style encounters and duels, tent pegging, riding a stride two horses and showing off acrobatic skills. Many Gatka schools send their best teams to compete in the events. Marches, parades and military-style weapon pageantry are witnessed by a huge gathering.
On the concluding day, the Sikhs participate in a ceremonial procession that starts from Takhat Keshgarh Sahib touring through Anandgarh and Lohgarh Gurudwaras and ends at the Takhat Keshgarh Sahib. Pious hymns are sung ritualistically while drumbeats echo through the routes.
Another aspect to this festival is the community service in the form of 'langars' or community kitchen. Tourists and visitors irrespective of their caste or creed are seated in a row and offered traditional meals. The divine and sumptuous meal is prepared by the local people who generously offer rice, milk, vegetables and other ingredients for preparing the pure food. The pilgrims are respectfully offered food.
The display of courage and acts of valour on the field is complemented by participating in the inspirational tradition of religious poetry, singing and chanting which focus on solidarity and unity. Musical rendition of prayers, kirtans and religious lectures are given while the Guru Granth Sahib ji is also placed respectfully.
Although the centre of celebration is Anandpur Sahib, with time, Kiratpur Sahib and other Gurdwaras around the world have also started holding the event successfully.
Upcoming Hola Mohalla date
Hola 2014 - 17 March
Hola 2015 - 6 March
Hola 2016 - 24 March
Hola 2017 - 13 March
Hola 2018 - 2 March
Hola 2019 - 21 June
Hola 2020 - 10 June