SikhiWiki:Today's featured article/March 1, 2009

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Hola Mohalla festival
(Photo:Reuters/Kamal Kishore)

Hola Mohalla or simply "Hola" is a Sikh festival that takes place on the first "full moon" day in the month of March which approximately corresponds to the Punjabi month of Chet which begins on March 14.

Chet is the first month in the Nanakshahi calendar and this month coincides with March-April in the Western calendar.

Every year this festival takes place in the month of March when we have a "full moon" in India. This Sikh festival follows the Hindu festival of Holi; The word "Mohalla" is derived from the Arabic root "hal" (alighting, descending) and is a Punjabi word that implies an organized procession in the form of an army column.

But unlike Holi, when people playfully sprinkle color, dry or mixed in water, on each other, the Guru made Hola Mohalla an occasion for the Sikhs to demonstrate their martial skills in simulated battles.

Together the words "Hola Mohalla" stands for "mock fight". During this festival, procession are organised in the form of army type columns accompanied by war-drums and standard-bearers and proceeding to a given spot or moving within the state from one gurdwara to another. .....More