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Bandi Chhor Divas

A Sikh festival celebrating the release of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind, from political imprisonment. The primary celebration takes place in Amritsar, Punjab, India. Occurs in October or November, coinciding with the Hindu festival of Diwali.

Posted in Sikhism

Darbar Sahib

The preferred name for the most prominent Sikh gurdwara, located in Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is commonly known by two other names: Harmandir Sahib, which means “the Temple of God,” and its English-language nickname, the Golden Temple. See also Golden Temple.

Posted in Sikhism


A Sikh leader trained in all aspects of maintaining gurdwara decorum, including reading from and caring for Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs often use the terms granthi, gyaani and raagi interchangeably.

A granthi is not clergy. Terms such as priest and minister are not applicable.

Posted in Religious titles, Sikhism

Guru Gobind Singh

The 10th teacher of the Sikh religion, Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708) led Sikhs in a battle for autonomy and has come to represent the Sikh ideal of the saint-soldier. In 1699, he formed Sikhs into the Khalsa, a spiritual sisterhood/brotherhood, and gave them five articles of faith (the Five Kakaars). He passed the guruship on to the Sikh scripture, known as Guru Granth Sahib.

Posted in Sikhism

Hola Mohalla

A Sikh festival celebrated with mock battles and displays of horsemanship. The primary celebration takes place in Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, India. Occurs in March, one day after the Hindu festival of Holi.

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The most commonly used name for the divine among modern Sikhs.

Posted in Sikhism