The Sikh Gurus used festivals and special days as occasions for teaching of their ideology to divert their followers from darkness of ritualism and ignorance to an enlightened way of living based on belief in One Creator. This ideology of Sikh Gurus gave new significance to ancient festivals like Diwali and Vaisakhi.
Sikhs also associate Diwali with the Bandi Chorh Diwas, the day on which Guru Hargobind Sahib was released along with 52 princes from Gwalior Prison. To the Guru Sahib, freedom rights of other princes were equally important as his own, that’s why he insisted that they should be set free together.
Guru Hargobind Sahib had always thought about everyone's emancipation. So on this day, illuminations are done by lighting earthen oil lamps, candles and fireworks. The celebrations are held both at Gurdwaras and in homes.
Keeping this in view, the ancient Indian festival of Diwali, more for historical reasons than religious, has acquired a very special significance in the Sikh tradition. Historically, In Punjab the celebration of Diwali has got associated with the Sikh struggle for freedom and emancipation.
Thus, the Sikh Diwali is basically the harbinger of Enlightenment and Freedom by being in One Creator – Ek Omkar. According to Shri Guru Granth Sahibji, when the lamp is lit, darkness is dispelled. And, where there is light of knowledge, ignorance is dispelled."
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