Bandi Chor Divas is a Sikh holiday that coincides with Diwali. During the late 20th century, the religious leaders of the Sikh community increasingly called Diwali as Bandi Chor Divas. Unlike Diwali, Bandi Chor Diwas is celebrated with regard to a prehistoric event related to the Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind. As the name clearly suggests, it was this day when Guru Hargobind was released from prison along with 52 other kings by the Mughal Emperor, Jahangir.
However, there are many similarities in the way Diwali and Bandi Chor Divas are celebrated. There are fireworks all around and all the Gurudwaras and homes are beautifully lit. Sikhs consider this as an auspicious occasion to visit Guradwaras, offer gifts, and spend time with their families. Guru Hargobind was the successor of his father, Guru Arjan, who was arrested by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in his quest to convert Guru Arjan to Islam. Guru Hargobind was coronated as the Sixth Guru at the age of 11 on June 24, 1606.
By: Shatrujit Singh Chauhan