Sikh festivals

Sikh festivals	Festivals in Sikhism mostly centre around the lives of the Gurus and Sikh martyrs. Sikh festivals include the following:
Gurpurabs are celebrations or commemorations based on the lives of the Sikh gurus. They tend to be either birthdays or celebrations of Sikh martyrdom.
Vaisakhi normally occurs on 13 April and marks the beginning of the new spring year and the end of the harvest. Sikhs celebrate it because on Vaisakhi in 1699, the tenth guru, Gobind Singh, began the Khalsa baptismal tradition.
Diwali (also known as bandī chōḍ divas) celebrates Hargobind's release from the Gwalior Fort, where he was imprisoned by Jahangir, on 26 October 1619.
Hola Mohalla occurs the day after Holi and is when the Khalsa Panth gather at Anandpur and display their warrior skills, including fighting and horse-riding.

Lohri
Lohri is a harvest festival, originally celebrated in Punjab. Although it has nothing to do with the sikh religion but sikhs being the predominant farmers in Punjab makes it look like a Sikh festival. Nowadays it is celebrated more as a tradition than anything else. Any beliefs that Lohri is celebrated only at the birth of a boy is because of the discrimination of women faced in old Hindu soceities, the very thing opposed strongly and outrightly by all Sikh Gurus and other saints like Kabir. Nowadays even at the birth of a daughter some families celebrate Lohri. Lohri would be more correctly termed a Punjabi festival rather than a Sikh festival.

Maghi
Maghi commemorates the martyrdom of the "Forty Immortals," forty followers of Guru Gobind Singh who had previously deserted him, fought bravely against overwhelming Mughal army forces and were martyred in Muktsar. Guru Gobind Singh blessed them as having achieved mukti (liberation) and cremated them at Muktsar. Muktsar where an annual fair is held.

Holi/Hola Mohalla
In Punjab itcelebrated for the Birth of the Khalsa, or Sikh religion. Vaisakhi is celebrated at a large scale at Harimandar Sahib, Amritsar. In Canada, USA, and other Sikh and Hindu populated areas, South Asians come together for a public mela or parade, and enjoy free food of all sorts of Indian cuisine. The main part of the mela is where a local Sikh Temple ( Gurdwara ) has a beauitful Indian theme float where the Guru Granth Sahib is located and everyone must offer their prayers by touching the float.

Parkash Divas
Parkash Divas is the day where the Guru Granth Sahib was instituted. Sikhs go to a local temple for a prayer, and hymns.

Diwali/Bandi Chod Divas
On the day of the Hindu festival Diwali, Sikhs celebrate the Bandi Chod Divas. It celebrates the release of Guru Hargobind Singh from Gwalior Fort with him freeing 52 other kings as well. It is celebrated by lightning divas and going to a Gurdwara to listen to gurbani.

Guru Nanak Ji's Jayanthi
On this day Guru Nanak was born in Nanakana, a small town in Pakistan. Every year Sikhs go to a Gurdwara and offer their prayers there. Sometimes earthen lamps are lit in front of the Gurdwara, in honor of the Guru Jis Birthday.
There are many more festivals that include Parkesh Utsav, Gurgadi, Jotijot and much more. All Sikh festivals are to be celebrated by going to a Gurdwara, paying obeisance to the Guru Granth Sahib Ji and listening to Gurbani.

Gurudwara
Gurdwara is said to be the house of the Guru or doorway into a guru's house, the term being derived from Punjabi. People of all religious backgrounds or of no religious faith are welcomed into a Sikh Gurdwara. It is necessary that any visitors remove their shoes, wash their hands and cover their head with a clean piece of cloth (Handkerchief, turban, cap etc) before entering the Darbar Sahib. Visitors are also forbidden to go into the gurdwara while they are inebriated or possess alcohol, cigarettes or any intoxicating substance.

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