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In pictures: Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara hosts Bandi Chhor Divas celebration

A celebration of the Sikh festival of Bandi Chhor Divas was held at the Guru Maneyo Granth Gurdwara on Saturday which was attended by people of all faiths and backgrounds.

Bandi Chhor Divas, which means liberation of prisoners day, marks the story of Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib, who in 1619 was released from prison and travelled to Amritsar on Diwali.

The sixth guru of Sikhism, who was imprisoned by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir for opposing the regime, would only agree to leaving prison if 52 princes could also come with him.

Emperor Jahangir said only those who clung to the guru’s coat could go free, prompting Guru Hargobind to have a coat made with 52 tassels attached to it to ensure all the princes’ freedom.

“It’s basically symbolises compassion for all of humanity regardless of who you are,” said Pav Lallh, a trustee of the Bath Road temple.

Story telling sessions were held for youngsters at the event as well as a weaponry display and archery, traditional Sikh martial art Gatka, arts and crafts and more.

“It was an amazing event,” said Pav, who said between 5,000 to 7,000 people attended.

“It was just very good, really bright and colourful and a lot of people from multiple faiths turned up.

“We received some really nice feedback. People who aren’t of the Sikh faith got introduced to it for the first time, they were quite shocked about how welcoming everyone was.”

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