Why not share in a Sikh Christmas tradition this year?

By Nirvair Clare, Global Officer and first year Law and Management student

This Christmas tree is one that Nirvair and her siblings decorated

The Christmas holiday is a period that’s looked forward to by many people globally, not just those who are Christians and Buddhists. I usually celebrate the festive month through common traditions, like putting up and decorating our Christmas tree, conducting Secret Santa with my friend group and playing Christmas music. However, Christmas and the month of December mean even more to me than that.


On the 25th of December we celebrate my younger sister’s birthday, which makes these holidays so much more special for me and my family. Christmas allows our extended family to have a holiday at the same time, which provides us all with the opportunity to put our busy schedules aside and meet up. My sister loves having family around for her birthday so it means a lot to me that she was born on a day where that can be made possible for her. Our Christmas mornings usually consist of us waking up bright and early to go on an annual charity walk as part of the Sikh community. It’s refreshing breathing in the fresh air whilst reciting prayers and watching the sunrise. When we later get home, we open our Christmas presents, and my sister opens her extra birthday presents. Then extended family come over and we celebrate by cutting the birthday cake, eating my mum’s delicious cooking (which includes my sisters’ favourite dish; chilli paneer) and catching up with family members we haven’t seen in a while.


However, for us Sikhs, December isn’t just a month full of festivities, but also a month of remembrance, recollection, and reverence, as it marks an important event in our Sikh history; the martyr of the Chaar Sahibzaade (the four sons to our 10th guru; Guru Gobind Singh Ji). The 2 older brothers [Ajit Singh Ji (18 years old) + Jujhar Singh Ji (14 years old)] sacrificed their lives on the battlefield fighting to uphold the identity of Khalsa Panth against the Mughals, and the two younger brothers [Zorawar Singh Ji (9 years old) + Fateh Singh Ji (6 years old)], were bricked alive on the orders of Wazir Khan, the Mughal governor of Sirhind, for refusing to renounce their faith. For us, this is not a month of mourning, but a month to celebrate their courage and bravery. Their sacrifice reminds us that we should stand by our values, faith, and for what we know is right, and that we should not allow ourselves to be oppressed, especially when faced with situations of adversity. I would like you to give thought to this, especially considering our current affairs as of late.


If you are interested in this area of our Sikh history, there is a movie called “Chaar Sahibzaade”, it’s very educational, and I would like to encourage you to participate in my family’s tradition, of sitting together sometime this December to watch it. I hope this evokes you to use your voice and power to help support people suffering this Christmas.


Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh 🙏