In pictures: Willenhall Hola Mahalla Sikh festival

The return of a Sikh festival to Willenhall saw the town come alive with colour and music in the afternoon sunshine.

In pictures: Willenhall Hola Mahalla Sikh festival

Dhadi performed on stage by a Dhadi Jatha

For the second year running, worshippers at Willenhall’s Guru Nanak Gurdwara came together to mark Hola Mahalla.

The celebrations included displays of falconry, swordsmanship and a host of family activities, with hundreds turning out to enjoy the day.

Hola Mahalla begins on the first day of the lunar month of Chet in the Nanakshahi calendar. Sava Singh Gill, a member of the Gurdwara’s committee, said: “In India, this a huge event, so it is great to get together to celebrate it in Willenhall.

“We had a fantastic turnout of families, regulars and members of the community, who I would like to thank for coming out.

“The weather was perfect, the entertainment was brilliant and the food was well received, so we couldn’t have asked for any more. The festival is a celebration of our culture and our teachings and for us to share that with our community was a wonderful experience.”

During Hola Mohalla, which stands for ‘mock fight’, processions are organised, accompanied by war drums and standard-bearers. The custom originated in the time of Guru Gobind Singh, who held the first such mock fight event at Anandpur in India in February 1701.

By Jordan Harris

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