OTTAWA, November 14, 2020
Today, Sikh communities in Canada and around the world celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas. Also known as the Day of Liberation, this holiday commemorates the release from prison of Guru Har Gobind Sahib Ji (1595–1644). The sixth guru or spiritual leader of Sikhism, he played an important role in Sikh history by securing the release of many political prisoners.
Bandi Chhor Divas symbolizes the struggle against political injustice and highlights human rights and freedom. This holiday is a time of celebration during which family and friends gather to light diyas, sing, pray in Gurdwaras, feast, and exchange gifts. Although the COVID-19 pandemic prevents us from gathering in the usual way, we invite Canadians from all backgrounds to take part in the many festivities that will be offered virtually.
The Sikh community has deep roots in Canada and is part of our national fabric. This celebration is a great opportunity to learn more about the traditions and cultural richness of Canadians of Sikh origin, and to pass them on to future generations.
As Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, I wish everyone celebrating Bandi Chhor Divas a very happy festival. Keep well and stay safe.