Tag Archive: Chabeel Day

Cheers to Chabeel Day: A ‘refreshing’ approach to religion

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FREE DRINKS FOR ALL: People from all faiths and backgrounds received refreshments from the group

FREE DRINKS FOR ALL: People from all faiths and backgrounds received refreshments from the group

Over a thousand bottles of water and 70 litres of Chabeel were handed out to members of the public in Leeds last week as Sikhs took to the streets for Chabeel Day.

Organised to raise awareness of the Sikh faith and to promote community cohesion, similar events were seen across the country to mark the sacred day.

Chabeel Day remembers the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji, who was tortured by being made to sit on a red hot plate, whilst hot sand was poured over him.

Rather than mourning the event, Sikhs are asked to remember God’s will as ‘sweet’ and therefore the sweet drinks – known as Chabeel – are distributed to people of similar and different faiths.

Ripaljeet Kaur helped organise the events in Leeds and says she was surprised by the number of people that turned up to the event.

AWARENESS: Dozens of Sikh volunteers distributed Chabeel and water as part of Chabeel Day

AWARENESS: Dozens of Sikh volunteers distributed Chabeel and water as part of Chabeel Day

“We didn’t expect it to be that busy,” she said. “We managed to give drinks to people from all walks of life.

“We were going to do it from 11am to 3pm but we actually ran out of water an hour early, it was that busy. People were still coming up to us after we had finished and were packing away.

“This is the first time we have done it in Leeds and now, like Langar week, we are hoping to do it every year as an annual event.”

‘Chabeel’ is a Punjabi word referring to a sweet, cool, non-alcoholic drink.

It was served at the event, alongside water, by dozens of volunteers from the Sikh community who spoke with people about their faith and what they were doing on the day.

One volunteer, Jaspal Singh, said: “There was a real positive vibe and volunteers seemed more confident than ever when engaging in conversations with passersby.

“I was pleasantly surprised about how interest the public was in the Chabeel concept.”

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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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