Hola Mohalla Celebrations :
Hola Mohalla is a name given to Holi festival inPunjab. The Sikhs around the country celebrate the festival every year during the month of March, a day after Holi. The name Hola Mohalla has its roots in a Punjabi word, Mohalla, which
literally means and organized procession in the form an army parade accompanied with musical instruments such as drums and standard bearers. The procession, typically, starts from a Gurduwara (Place of worship for Punjabis) to another Gurudwara within the same locality.
The Hola Mohlalla celebration was first started by the tenth and the most prominent Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The main motto of the Guru for celebrating the festival was to gather all Sikhs and organize military exercise and conduct mock battles after Holi. This has become a tradition and it has been followed religiously by every Sikh since then.
Another highlight of the festival is that, it heralds the beginning of the New Year as per the Lunar Nanakshahi calendar followed by the Sikhs. The New years is celebrated for 3 days with same joy and zest with which Holi is celebrated.
During the Hola Mohalla festival, a large number of people gather to watch the military procession. During the procession, several artists perform many martial arts tricks led by the Nishan Sahibs of the Gurudwaras.
Although the performers who fight with each other during the procession, don’t fight really, it still has risk factor and the performers are adept at their skills. The military procession is followed by poetry reading and music competitions.
Hola Mohalla is one festival that eradicates the social segregations and unites the people irrespective of their class or caste and everyone is meted equal treatment. The Indian National Government has recognized Hola Mohalla as a National festival and declares a holiday. The festival is festival throughout the state ofPunjabsince 1701.