Bandi festival also commonly known as the BandiShor Divas or the day of liberation is a festival of the Sikhs. It mostly occurs in the month of Ashvin in the lunar calendar around the night of the new moon or the Amavasya. The usual month of the celebration is in November. BandiShor Divas and diwali are festivals that falls on different days. But according to the calendar, they are celebrated in the same day. Although they are celebrated on the similar days, they are still different from each other. The word bandi actually comes from the word prisoner. BandiShor Divas is celebrated due to the fact that sixth guru or guru Hargobind Jr. was released from the prison along with 52 other princes.
Why Bandi Festival
Bandi festival was due to the fact that, guru Hargobindji came to Amritsar during the time of diwali festival. Thus Diwali and the liberation were combined together on this day. Bandidivas were known to be one of the biggest festivals after the Baisakhi festival of the Sikhs. It became one of the most important festivals in various parts of northern region of India. There is a nagarkeertan also known as the akhand path that involves continuous reading of Guru Granth Sahib for at least 48 hours. There is fireworks display around the Golden Temple with many beautiful lights.
History of Bandi Divas Festival
The Bandi festival or Bandi Divas was due to the fact that the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, was freed from imprisonment from the Gwalior fort, by Jahangir. Due to a religious clash, he was imprisoned. He was freed with 52 other princes. After being freed, he arrived in Amritsar on the time of diwali. Many lit lamps and fireworks were burnt, that led to the remembrance of the day till now. Thus this day was popularly known as the BandiShor day or the Bandi Divas. It represents the struggle of Sikhs in the late 18th century against the moguls for their own freedom. Apart from Baisakhi, when the Khalsa meets, the bandishor divas became one of the second major festivals when the khalsa met and planned their freedom strategy.
Bandi Shor is not Diwali
Bandi festival or Divas and Diwali isnot the same thing, although people think they are almost similar to each other and celebrated on the same days. They actually fall on various different days. According to popular calendars both the festivals are celebrated in the same day. Thus for this reason, many people think and celebrate Diwali on the same day. The two festivals are different from each other due to the fact that Guru Hargobind was released from the prison on that day. The second fact was that he came to Amritsar on a day when Diwali was being celebrated. The whole city was lit up, when the guru reached Amritsar. There were lights and fireworks everywhere.
Lessons from Bandi Shor Divas
Guru Hargobind put priority of freeing 52 princes before him. He proved to be a leader of great wit and might. He could have left the fort and ran when he was offered the chance, but he didn’t. Instead he showed pride and stood beside his fellow men. He proved to be a true leader. Thus Bandi festival is still celebrated with great honour.