Premier John Horgan has issued the following statement marking Bandi Chhor Divas:
“Today, Sikh communities throughout British Columbia and around the world will celebrate Bandi Chhor Divas.
“This is a day of prayer, contemplation and joy for the Sikh community, as families and friends exchange sweets, and light up their homes and gurdwaras.
“The holiday celebrates the story of the release of Guru Hargobind Sahib, the sixth Guru, from prison. According to Sikh history, the Guru refused liberation for himself unless 52 innocent kings and princes, also held captive, were freed with him. His devotion to the cause of peace and the freedom of his fellow prisoners is a reminder of the importance of aiding those in need.
“As people once again gather in larger groups, we should continue to appreciate the different health choices made by others.
“This day reminds us of the importance of respect and inclusion, values that British Columbians hold close to their hearts.
“On behalf of all British Columbians, I wish a happy Bandi Chhor Divas to all who celebrate.”