For many years Sikhs have been serving this sweet non-alcoholic drink to general public during the hot summer months of India to save them from scorching sun and heat. But it has a deeper meaning and message that we should all remember.
This year ‘Chabeel Day’ was celebrated for the first time on 18th of June 2016 to celebrate and remember the martyrdom of the fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Arjun Dev Ji.
“Chabeel” is a Punjabi word meaning a cold, non-alcoholic sweet drink. It is a drink that is served to general public during the hot days of summer. It doesn’t only provide relief from the scorching sun and heat but also has a deeper meaning. It spreads the message of eternal optimism. It is celebrated to remember the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev ji who became the first Sikh matyr in 1606 for refusing to change the Sikh scriptures as asked by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. The story tells us that for refusing to follow orders, the Guru was made to sit on red hot iron sheet while the Mughal soldiers poured burning hot sand on his body. The Guru was dipped in boiling water too. This torture went on for five days and he even refused the help of a Sufi who offered to heal his burns saying that he has to accept the will of God.
After the torture, the Guru asked for a bath in the Ravi River. Thousands of followers watched on as Guru Arjan Dev ji walked into the water chanting, “Sweet is your will, O God; the gift of your name alone I seek”.
Chabeel is a remembrance of the torture meted out to the Guru and the relief that River Ravi provided him in the end.
For many years, Sikhs in India have served Chabeel to the general public between the months of May and June. Last year The Sikh Press Association* in UK decided to hold a Chabeel week and spread the message of Chardi Kala. This year for the first time, Chabeel Day was celebrated on the 18th of June.
*The Sikh Press Association is a national news agency representing the Sikh Community in the UK & providing accurate multimedia content for mainstream media. (Information as stated on The Sikh Association Press Association Facebook page)