Diwali 2019: Sikhs celebrate this day as Bandi Chhor Diwas

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Published: October 27, 2019 12:09:58 AM

Interestingly, the release of the sixth Sikh guru in 1619 was agreed for those who could hold onto his cloak tail. For this, the Guru got a special cloak made with 52 pieces of string so that each prince was able to hold onto one string and leave the prison with him.

Since the day is considered an important time to visit gurdwaras, millions of devotees visit the Golden Temple. (Express photo)Since the day is considered an important time to visit gurdwaras, millions of devotees visit the Golden Temple. (Express photo)

Diwali highlights some of the most important events in Sikh history. Bandi Chhor Divas marks the celebration of freedom and independence, with the release of Guru Hargobind from the Mughal prison. Another event celebrated on Diwali is the day of Bhai Mani Singh’s martyrdom in 1738, as a result of his failure to pay a fine for trying to celebrate Diwali and refusing to convert to Islam. Guru Hargobind was released from prison by Mughal emperor Jehangir, who freed 52 other Hindu princes with him. Interestingly, the release of the sixth Sikh guru in 1619 was agreed for those who could hold onto his cloak tail. For this, the Guru got a special cloak made with 52 pieces of string so that each prince was able to hold onto one string and leave the prison with him.

The traditional celebrations continue till today with nagar kirtan (street processions) and akhand paath (reading of Guru Granth Sahib). Since the day is considered an important time to visit gurdwaras, millions of devotees visit the Golden Temple. The day coincides with Diwali, with grand fireworks at Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple). Also on this day, Guru Amar Das, the third guru of the Sikhs, built a well in Goindwal, also known as Goindwal Sahib, in Tarn Taran district of Punjab, with 84 steps, and invited Sikhs to bathe in its sacred waters on Diwali as a form of community bonding. Bandi Chhor Divas festival has become the most important part of Sikh festivities.

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