Article 24 October 2022

Bandi Chhor Divas

Day of Liberation- 24th October

What is Bandi Chhor Divas?

Bandi Chhor Divas means “Day of Liberation” and is a Sikh celebration that commemorates the day the sixth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Ji released 52 kings from Gwalior Fort.  The Kings had been imprisoned by Mughal Emperor Jahangir for several months around the year 1612.

They had not been imprisoned for a crime per se, but because they had their own sovereignty and political views.

Guru Hargobind Ji, upon his release went to Amritsar (the city where the Golden Temple is located). People were celebrating the Hindu festival of Diwali, the festival of lights.  The two celebrations often overlap with each other but are, in fact, separate festivals.

Why is it important?

Sikhs consider this occasion as an important time to visit Gurdwaras and spend time with their families.

It is celebrated by a three-day prayer, called an “Akhand Paath” held at a Sikh Gurdwara followed by Kirtan (hymn singing) and fireworks displays.

Millions of Sikhs worldwide will celebrate and candles are usually lit outside the Gurdwara and in people’s homes.

What can you do?

In every Sikh Gurdwara the concept of a free kitchen or “Langar” is observed where fresh vegetarian food and sweets are usually made and distributed. Gurdwara the concept of a free kitchen or “Langar” is observed. Langar is the communal meal shared by all who come to the Gurdwara, and it has been a part of the Sikh community since the time of Guru Nanak. Attendees all sit at an equal level on the floor and eat the same food. Langar serves as an expression of the equality of all humans.  Langar serves as an expression of the equality of all humans.

We are asking all of our Mitie colleagues to:

  • Help to create an inclusive culture where your colleagues can feel comfortable discussing how they celebrate and bring their true selves to work.
  • Speak to your Sikh Colleagues and ask them about what they will be doing to celebrate in order to let them bring their true selves to work.
  • Wish them a Happy Bandi Chhor on Monday.
  • Bandi Chhor is a time of celebration with lots of vegetarian food and sweets.  Ask your colleagues for a recipe to make or bring in some sweets to share!
  • It’s not possible to light candles in many of our facilities but you could bring in battery powered tea light candles to join in the festivities on Monday.
  • Celebrations will be held until late night at a Gurdwara or in peoples houses so please make allowances for this for those who are on an early shift on Tuesday morning.