Tuesday, 27 October 2015

France Leclerc | Hola Mohalla

Photo © France Leclerc-All Rights Reserved
I can barely catch up with France Leclerc these days. She's always on her way to a far-flung destination, schlepping her cameras with her (she's a recent but still tentative convert to a lighter mirrorless camera system), writes a wonderfully informative blog and has compelling photographs on her website.

One of her recent additions to her blog is Hola Mohalla;  a Sikh festival that takes place on the first of the lunar month of Chet which usually falls in March. This festival was established by Guru Gobind Singh, and follows the well-known Hindu festival of Holi by one day.

During this festival, processions are organised in the form of army type columns which are accompanied by war-drums and standard-bearers. The martial-like event originated in the time of Guru Gobind Singh who held the first such mock battle event at Anandpur in February 1701.

Sikhism (as per Wikipedia) is a monotheistic religion originating in South Asia during the 15th century. The basic beliefs of Sikhism include faith in a single Creator God, unity and equality of all humankind, engaging in selfless service, striving for social justice, and honest conduct and livelihood. Sikhism is based on the spiritual teachings of Guru Nanak, the first Guru, and the ten subsequent Sikh gurus. It claims over 25 million adherents worldwide.

You'll read France's blog post, and realize that she was badly injured during a sudden stampede of a horse; probably spooked by the loud martial music. However, she quickly recovered and has been on the road ever since.

For more of France's awe-inspiring photographs of Hola Mohalla, Maptia recently featured her work in large sized photographs.