Known for their love for life, Sikhs celebrate Holi in their own
style and elan. At Punjab, they call it 'Hola Mohalla'.
and shout their hearts out following a peculiar tradition. Besides, they
also exhibit their martial arts specially 'kushti' on this day and make
merry with the colours in the evening. Mouthwatering halwas, puris, gujias,
a preparation of raw jack fruit and malpuas are of course, an essential part
of the festivities. The only difference is that they do not light a bonfire.
Holla Mohalla is celebrated a day after Holi in Punjab especially by the
The festival is celebrated with gusto at Anandpur Sahib for it was here
that Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth and last guru, instituted the pahul
(baptism of the Khalsas), elected the panj pyare (the beloved five), and
militarized his followers into the order of Nihangs (warrior-mendicants).
This festival of the Nihangs held at their headquarters Anandpur Sahib
began as a counterpart to Holi. Though it almost did away with the throwing
of colors, nonetheless, it is more colorful.
Martial arts like archery, sword fencing, fancy horse-riding, tent-pegging,
and the deft handling of other contraptions of offence and defense are
displayed by the Nihangs. Spectacular and thrilling acts of dare-devilry
dexterously executed are performed.
The festivities close with a ceremonial procession taken through the
township starting from Takth Keshgarh Sahib. Dressed in a long tunic of
bright deep blue, an elaborate turban, sometimes of enormous size, at times
banded with strips of bright yellow, armed with weapons of one's liking -
bows and arrows, spears, swords and shield, muskets, guns or what have you -
the Nihang displays his skills at this festival of valor, a pageant of the
The langar (community feast) is open through the day and lasts as long as
there are any takers.