Trudeau extends Diwali, Bandi Chhor Divas greetings to Canada's Hindus and Sikhs
Bandi Chhor Divas is a significant Sikh festival celebrated to mark the release of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, coinciding with Diwali.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau extended his heartfelt greetings to the Hindu and Sikh communities across Canada and around the world on the occasion of Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas.
"Diwali and Bandi Chhor Divas are all about coming together. To everyone we’ve celebrated with in Ottawa, Brampton, and Etobicoke over the past few days, and to everyone celebrating in communities across the country: Happy Diwali! Happy Bandi Chhor Divas!" Trudeau said in a social media post on X.
Bandi Chhor Divas is a significant Sikh festival celebrated to mark the release of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, the sixth Guru of Sikhism, from imprisonment in Gwalior Fort. The term "Bandi Chhor Divas" translates to "Prisoner Release Day." This celebration usually coincides with the Hindu festival of Diwali, but the Sikh observance has its unique historical and cultural significance.
The release of Guru Hargobind Ji and the other princes on Diwali symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and the victory of righteousness. Sikhs celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas with great joy, engaging in prayers, kirtan (devotional singing), and the lighting of lamps and candles. The Golden Temple in Amritsar and many other Sikh gurdwaras around the world are decorated with lights and candles during this festival.
Canada is home to a substantial Sikh population, with a significant presence in provinces such as British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. Sikhs have been immigrating to Canada for over a century, contributing to the country's cultural, economic, and social fabric.
Sikhs have actively engaged in Canadian politics, both at the federal and provincial levels. Many Sikhs have been elected to public office, serving as Members of Parliament (MPs), Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), and municipal representatives.