Hola Mohalla is a popular festival of Sikhs that is observed on the second day of the lunar month of Chett. In the Gregorian calendar, it normally falls in the month of March. The festival or event is organized in the Anandpur Sahib city of Punjab state. Hola Mohalla is derived from two words- Hola, meaning a military charge and Mohalla, meaning an organized procession or an army column. The words ‘Hola Mohalla’ thus means the charge of an army and a military-style procession is also carried on this day.
It is a three day festival which will be held from 8th to 10th March 2023. Let us know more about Hola Mohalla 2023 like its celebration, history, significance, etc from this article.
Hola Mohalla 2023 Date
Hola Mohalla, more commonly known as Hola, is a Sikh festival that continues for three days. It begins on the second day of the lunar month of Chett, a day after the Hindu spring festival Holi but sometimes coincides with Holi. Hola Mohalla 2023 festival in India will begin on Wednesday, 8 March and end on Friday, 10 March.
History of Hola Mohalla
Holi is an important festival of Hindus that falls on the first day of the lunar month of Sikh month, Chett. Guru Gobind Singh based the celebration of Hola Mohalla on the festival of Holi but in addition to throwing colors on each other, there is a touch of martial arts and a military-style procession as well.
The story of Prahlad, an ultimate child devotee of Hindu god Lord Vishnu, was quite popular among the early Sikhs. According to the story, Prahlad was the son of Harnakash, a demon who claimed himself to be a god. But Prahlad refused to accept his father as god and tells that the only supreme power is Vishnu. Holka, the sister of Harnakash planned to burn Prahlad by sitting with him in a burning pyre. Holka has a special cloak that provides protection against fire. Holka wrapped herself in that cloak and sat in the fire with Prahlad in her lap. However, the cloak wrapped itself upon Prahlad and it was Holka who got burnt in the fire instead. The holy book of Sikhs, Guru Granth Sahib, contains verses reciting Prahlad by the saints Namdev, Kabir and the third Guru of Sikhs Guru Amar Das.
Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, established the festival of Hola Mohalla in 1680 built upon the story of Prahlad. He summoned his followers to Anandpur on Holi and introduced a new rally to coincide with the Holi festival where they can practice martial arts and combat training. However, the practice of carrying out procession on Hola Mohalla was introduced some times later. It is said that the first procession accompanied by drums was organized in Anandpur only in the year 1701.
Hola Mohalla Celebration
Hola Mohalla festival that starts after the Holi festival is an event that goes on for three days. People from nearby areas starts assembling in Anand Sahib from one week before the festivities begin. Display of fighting powers from the skilled martial artists, organizing of kirtan, music and poetry, etc are some popular activities related to the celebration of Hola Mohalla. Mock battles and poetry contests also form a part of Hola Mohalla celebration. Meals of the visitors and the participants are organized in the Gurudwaras for as many days as they stay for the festival. All people, without any discrimination, sit together to enjoy the Langars.
The festival concludes on the third day of Hola Mohalla with a long, military-style procession carried near Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib, one of the five seats of temporal authority of the Sikhs. A sword is considered a very important part of Hola Mohalla procession and each participant in the procession must have it in his hand.
Colors are also thrown by the participants after completion of the mock battles. Earlier, people used rose water, amber, musk and saffron-colored water in place of colors. In modern times, Nihangs throw colors on each other and the audience as a part of Hola Mohalla celebration. The Nihangs are the members of the khalsa army known for their distinctive blue traditional robes and dumala, which are often embellished. The Nihaangs are prominent at the Hola Mohalla festival and the throwing of colors by them is a practice equivalent to Guru Gobind Singh throwing colors on his followers at the starting of the festival.
Hola Mohalla is also known as Hola. It is a 3-day long Sikh festival that usually falls in the month of March ever year. 2023 Hola date is 8th to 10th March 2023.
A 3-days fair is also organized at Shri Anandpur Sahib.
Hola Mohalla is celebrated after Holi and hence people also celebrate this festival by applying colors at each other.
S sword fighting and martial art by Nihang Sikhs is displayed on this day.
From 8th March to 10th March
Shri Anandpur Sahib