Chabeel Day! ‘Refreshing’ holiday sees Sikhs on the streets


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LUSCIOUS LIQUIDS: Members of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple  will hand out free drinks and food to people in Bradford next month

LUSCIOUS LIQUIDS: Members of the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple will hand out free drinks and food to people in Bradford next month

The Sikh concept of Chardi Kala - which translates as ‘ever-rising spirits’ - dictates that everyone should be eternally optimistic.

Tying in with this idea is Chabeel Day on the weekend of the 18th June, where cooling drinks are offered to alleviate the heated temperaments of people in the hotter months.

This summer, when people will be feeling a little hot and bothered from the potential heatwave, Sikhs will be looking to keep people in a positive frame of mind on this special day.

33-year-old Hajinder Kaur, who worships at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple, will be handing out delicious refreshments, crisps and samosas in Bradford’s city centre with her friend Gurpreet Kaw Duklu, and members of the temple, on 19th June.

She said: “In India they have celebrated the day for hundreds of years. This year we’re celebrating for the first time in Leeds and Bradford.

“We’re going to be there from 12pm-4pm and everyone is invited to come along for a free drink and meal.

“It will be nice if all communities from Bradford come and show their respects. A few dignitaries will also be there on the day.”

Chabeel Day is an adaptation of last year’s ‘Chabeel Week’ held by Sikhs across the world. ‘Chabeel’ is a Punjabi word referring to a sweet, cool, non-alcoholic drink.

Traditionally in India for hundreds of years, Sikhs have offered chabeel to the general public on hot days, especially between May and June, when Sikhs remember the martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev Ji.

The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjan Dev Ji became the first Sikh martyr in 1606 after he refused to change the Sikh scriptures as ordered by the tyrannical Mughal Emperor Jahangir, in an effort to curtail the Guru’s growing influence in India. When Guru Arjan Dev Ji refused, he was tortured by being made to sit on a red hot plate, whilst hot sand was poured over him.

Instead of remembering this event through mourning, the Guru taught the Sikhs to accept God’s will as sweet.

Sikhs have decided to change negativity into positivity by turning an attack upon them into a chance to serve others and not make enemies. They honour the Guru’s burning by cooling everyone else.

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