‘Black’ Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas #ThrowbackThursday

I am sharing this post today on the morning of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas this year.
Two years previously we had a more somblre celebration… Here’s my explanation!
Happy Diwali Peeps!

Today, the 11th of November is Remembrance Day, as it is every year, but it is also, this year, the day that Hindus will be celebrating Diwali or Deepavali and Sikhs should celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas.

I say should as there has been issues in the Punjab this year where our leaders in the Golden Temple in Amritsar have declared a ‘Black Diwali’. I shall try and convey the meaning behind the festivals in this post, show you how we usually celebrate, and also explain about this ‘Black Diwali’ too.


Diwali is also known as the festival of lights, where Hindus celebrate the homecoming of their God Rama and his wife Sita, after an exile of 14 years.  There is also a connection with the Goddess Laxshmi, though I do not profess to be any expert, seeing as I am not Hindu!


As a Sikh, we celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas, also known as Liberation Day.  This marks the day that our sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Singh Ji, was released from a prison in Gwalior, after being held there by Mughal Emperor, Jahangir. He had been imprisoned as Jahangir thought he was a threat, wearing two swords, and setting up a formal court, the Akal Takht.  After holding him for an unknown time, he realised that Guru Hargobind Singh Ji was not a threat, and deemed him safe, thereby ordering his release.  At this time, in the prison, alongside Guruji, there were also 52 Rajas, or princes, that had been held, for opposing the Mughal empire.  They looked upon Guru Hargobind Singh Ji as a spiritual leader.  He requested that they also be released, alongside him. Jahangir stated that as many Rajas that could hold onto Guruji’s clothes could be released. Guruji had a special cloak stitched with 52 tassles attatched so all the Rajas could hold on. They were all released and the day they arrived back at the holy city of Amritsar coincided with Diwali, where lamps and divas were lit. Hence we celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas on the same day as Diwali every year

There is not a set date for this festival, as most Indian calendars rely on lunar months, rather than the western calendar, so these festivals could be in October or November.

How do we celebrate?

I shall show you what we did last year!

Lil Princess and I used henna on our hands.

imageThis isn’t something we do regularly, but Lil Princess wanted to, so we did! Then we got changed into appropriate clothing!


We went to the Gurdwara to pay our respects.

imageThere we also lit divas or candles, to create the light that Guruji returned to Amritsar in.

imageThere were fireworks lit at the Gurdwara in celebration too.

imageWe lit candles and divas at home too, as there should be light in our homes on this day. Then we tucked into a feast of goodies prepared by my dear mother in law!

imageThis year it will be a quieter affair. The Akal Takht, in Amritsar has declared this a Black Diwali, where there will be no huge fireworks celebrations, as over the past few months there have been many occasions where across India there has been desecrations of the Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib.  We will still pay our respects, but the celebrations will be muted this year.

The reasoning behind this ‘black diwali’ are stated in this article. To read original, please click here.

Sikhs will not be celebrating Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali) this year

Amritsar, Punjab: Pained over the recent incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in the state, Sikh community has decided not to have fireworks and ceremonial lighting at the Golden Temple this Diwali as well as Gurparb of Guru Ram Das on October 29.

Sikh community organizers has also appealed to the Sikh community to refrain from having fireworks and ceremonial lighting on the two festivals and this day will be known as “Black Diwali”.

“Guru Granth Sahib gives a message of peace and brotherhood, but Akali Dal Badal and SGPC are trying to spoil the peace of Punjab; and we fail to understand why,” says sikh community organizers said, adding: “The people behind these acts have no religion.”

Sikh organizers gathered at Bargari village in Faridkot district on Sunday, at the bhog ceremony of the two innocent Sikhs killed by police firing during a silent peaceful gathering against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib ji, had made a resolution that called for observing ‘Black Diwali’.

The lights and fireworks at the Sachkhand Sri Darbar Sahib (currently under the hold of SGPC and Akali Dal Badal) on Diwali and Gurparb attract pilgrims from all over the world.

So there you have it.

Still, I would like to wish all those celebrating, a very Happy Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.  May peace return to the Punjab region, and may we be able to celebrate in a more colourful manner next year.

48 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Euphrates.
    Oct 20, 2017 @ 17:07:43




  2. OIKOS™-Redaktion
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 19:45:40


  3. Anindya
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 15:14:55

    Very happy Diwali Ritu and to your family……happiness exists everywhere….:)

    Liked by 1 person


  4. amindfultravellerblog
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 11:58:19

    So interesting. As a catholic I don’t know much about other religions, so this was a great read for me. Thanks Ritu. X

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Osyth
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 08:33:10

    Interesting, informative and ultimately very sad post. I fully understand the Sikh leaders taking this stand. I hope that international news stations will see fit to broadcast that this year Bandi Chhor Divas is to be ‘Black Diwali’ and why. Persecution wears too many cloaks and until it is halted in every place I refuse to call this a progressed world.

    Liked by 1 person


  6. IreneDesign2011
    Oct 19, 2017 @ 07:38:09

    Interesting to learn new Ritu, thank you for sharing.
    Wish you some happy days anyway and for me, everything is fine without firework.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Trackback: Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 89 – Diwali Special | But I Smile Anyway...
  8. Eric Klingenberg
    Nov 14, 2015 @ 15:40:30

    Thanks that was really interesting I didn’t know about the Sikh celebration.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Ritu
      Nov 14, 2015 @ 21:42:50

      I have to admit, I didn’t know the true meaning until I was quite old! All I knew was we went to the Gurdwara, paid our respects then did fire works! That’s what many kids would have been interested in anyway!
      I guess it’s like Christmas… the real meaning gets lost, as kids are more interested in what will be under the tree that morning, not thinking about the birth of Christ!

      Liked by 1 person


  9. sheldonk2014
    Nov 13, 2015 @ 00:22:55

    I am always interested in learning something new
    Thank you for visiting
    As always Sheldon

    Liked by 1 person


  10. joey
    Nov 12, 2015 @ 16:10:08

    Very interesting! Thank you for improving my education 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  11. wafflemethis
    Nov 12, 2015 @ 15:16:51

    Happy bandi chorr divas Ritu. I just had to share this with you though my autocorrect has developed a mind of its own over the last couple of days. It seems to have forgotten everything it has ever learnt. And started giving me a whole new vocabulary to choose from. So i say again Happy Banding chlorine divas, Rica (Damn thing)



  12. syl65
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 18:34:56

    Thank you for sharing this, Ritu. Always enjoying learning about different cultures and traditions.

    Liked by 1 person


  13. Miss Dinie
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 17:45:29

    Hmm,interesting.. Now I understand Sikhs celebrating Diwali also! Such discrimination against Sikhs in India! That’s sad!

    Liked by 1 person


  14. Erika Kind
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 11:00:07

    That looks like an amazing celebration when it’s a festival of light! Wonderful! As far as I know Laxshmi is the Goddess of abundance, which makes a lot of sense to me when she is related to the festival. Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed reading and learning about it a lot, sis!

    Liked by 1 person


  15. TanGental
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 10:43:51

    really interesting; hope my take on your prompt is ok for you (its out today or tomorrow!)

    Liked by 1 person


  16. Chris White
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 09:51:14

    One sweet day it will all get fixed.

    Liked by 1 person


  17. walkerkaty0
    Nov 11, 2015 @ 07:14:10

    This was a very interesting read. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person


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