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Holla Mohalla



Hola Mohalla is an annual festival held at Anandpur Sahib in Punjab. The festival was started as a gathering of Sikhs for military exercises and mock battles by the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in 1700 AD. It is celebrated in the month of Phaguna, a day after Holi. It reminds the people of valour and defence preparedness, concepts dear to the Tenth Guru who was at that time battling the Mughal Empire. On this three-day festival the Nihang Singhs (members of the Sikh army that was founded by Guru Gobind Singh) carry on the martial tradition with mock battles and displays with swords and horse riding. They perform daring feats, such as Gatka (mock encounters), tent pegging, bareback horse-riding and standing erect on two speeding horses. During Holla Mohalla, the Sikhs reaffirm their commitment to the brotherhood of man and their dedication to the Khalsa Panth. The Guru Granth Sahib is brought out with ceremony from its resting chamber and is given a symbolic bath with milk and water. Verses from its pages are then recited, akhanda pathas are performed, kar seva is offered and shabads and kirtans are sung all day long. 


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