Hola Mahalla

"HOLI the festival of colours has been a very distinct event in India since the times of Bhagat (Saint) PRAHALAD,

  the son of HARNAKASHYAP, who being a autocrat King, forced his countrymen to worship him, instead of GOD. The defiance of Prahalad led to many tortures given to him by the King, one of which was the burnt alive. 'Holkan' a sister of Harnakashyap volunteered to take Prahalad into a flame of fire as she was in possession of some magical powers by which she was immune to fire. But Prahalad, with the Grace of God was spared and Holkan was destroyed by the same fire, she was not susceptible to. Since that day, this festival came into existence i.e. The Triumph of Truth over Evil.  
    The transformation of 'HOLA MAHALLA from HOLI was first perpetuated by Sri Satguru Gobind Singh Ji  
  Maharaj, who in A.D. 1699 created the 'Khalsa' (the pure one) at Anandpur and subsequently this festival eas given an uplift with the inclusion of Martial Arts as one of its salient features. Guru Ji divided his Army into two groups and made them fight mock battles - hence strengthening their military techniques and fighting abilities. During and after the Sikh Raj the 'Hola Mahalla' took a different turn. Drunkards and courtesan dances marred the Holy festivities. In fact, the majority of the Sikhs were degenerated and behaved in a fashion contrary to the ideals and discipline laid down by Sri Satguru Gobind Singh Ji. The Sikhs indulged themselves in all kinds of vices and forgot the Gurus' teachings.  
    This pathetic state of the Sikhs was witnessed by Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji with his own eyes and after studying the  
  downfall of the Khalsa, he came to a conclusion whereby the moral and physical character of a Sikh could be elevated. During april 1857 he baptised the Sikhs and rejuvenated the depleted Khalsa.  
    The old 'Hola Mahalla' of Sri Satguru Gobind Singh Ji was again reinacted and resurrected by Sri Satguru Ram  
  Singh Ji and at Anandpur the Hola Mahalla was celebrated with a record breaking attendance, where the festivities accomplished the standard of Sri Satguru Gobind Singh Ji's time. Subsequently the festival became a very prominent item in the Namdhari World until A.D. 1872 when Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji was exiled by the British to Rangoon and then to Margui.  
    The Nammdharis and the successor of Sri Satguru Ram Singh Ji, Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji suffered the atrocities of  
  the British, who constantly kept a strict watch on the Namdhari, the village Bhaini, and at the entrance of the residential house. The inmates of the house were searched everytime they went out or came in. Sri Satguru Partap Singh Ji was born under these conditions of semi-captivity-hence the 'Hola' was never celebrated as a festival, until the relaxation of the British surveillance, when Sri Satguru Hari Singh Ji after a lapse of nearly 27 years, in A.D. 1898 celebrated the Hola in a village in Sialkot namely Guru Chak. Since that day the 'Hola' celebrations have been quite consistent until the present time.  
    The festivities of Hola are performed for a period of four days, which include all kinds of religious programmes,  
  concerts, exhibitions etc.  
    As the Birth Anniversaries of Sri Satguru Balak Singh Ji, the 11th Guru and Sri Satguru Partap Singh Ji fall near this  
  festival, the festival is enjoyed with two more auspicious occasions by the Namdharis.  
    Namdharis believe in strict yeetotalism. In the matter of marriage they shun the caste restrictions. People of any  
  caste are permitted to join the Namdhari Faith. Truthfullness, simplicity in thought and action, righteousness, adoption of fair and honest means of earning livelihood, giving one tenth of the income to charity, helping the poor and needy, service to fellow beings in distress, the willingness to make sacrifice for the sake of motherland are the main tenets of the Namdhari Faith.  
All these features are highlighted during the festival where it attracts members of all the communities as well as compatriots, who believe in equality, fraternity and world peace.