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Above: A historic photo, showing Sikh mystic Bhai Randhir Singh (far left), participating in a parbhaat pheri.

Sikhing Answers

What Is A Parbhaat Pheri?
Sikhing Answers - XVIII




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What is a Parbhaat Pheri?

What is its purpose? 

Who participates in them? When? Where?

What are its origins in Sikh tradition?


Posted on March 31, 2012

Closing Date: April 7, 2012


Conversation about this article

1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), March 31, 2012, 1:36 PM.

A parbhaat pheri is a seva whereby a group of Sikhs go around a neighbourhood getting lazy souls to get up at amrit vela to recite gurbani and attend the gurdwaras. The most famous one is at the Darbar Sahib in Amritsar where locals are embarrassed by the devotion of visitors and tourists who attend the pre-dawn event whilst they sleep!

2: Manjeet Singh (Paris, France), March 31, 2012, 1:51 PM.

parbhat pheri da matlab heh ki sverey utth kay Waheguru da naam juppna tey aapney saarey pind ya gawaandiyaan nu vi aiss vaastey pracharit karnaa, tey aapnay Sikh dharam da parchar bani raaheen karnaa!

3: Balraj Chandra (Mumbai, India), March 31, 2012, 2:12 PM.

Parbhaat pheris are early morning processions observed right before gurpurab. Sikh devotees go around singing kirtan and shabads in the neighbourhood in which they reside. It begins and ends at the local gurdwara.

4: Gurmail Singh Munday (Guwahati, India), March 31, 2012, 4:42 PM.

Parbhaat means morning time; i.e., after 4 am. Pheri means roaming or making a round. Together, the words stand for a mini-procession which makes the rounds in a neighbourhood, starting in the early hours, singing praises of Waheguru in the form of shabads and kirtan. It is accompanied by a person carrying the Nishaan Sahib, the Sikh Standard. It generally stops en route at a private home or business premises - a different one each day, depending on who has volunteered to do tea-and-snacks seva that day. These pheris are held daily, commencing a couple of weeks before each major gurpurab. It prepares the community and puts it in the mood of the upcoming high holiday.

5: Hardeep Kaur (Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada), April 01, 2012, 12:31 AM.

I have never heard of this before or ever witnessed it. Does such activity still take place today anywhere?

6: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), April 01, 2012, 9:32 AM.

To my mind, a parbhaat pheri a religious morning procession in one's neighborhood. It is taken around the lanes and back-streets, from residence to residence, not unlike the West's Christmas carolling, to mark the approach of a gurpurab or some other important Sikh event.

7: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), April 02, 2012, 4:25 PM.

The Darbar Sahib is the only gurdwara where it is a daily routine.

8: Mohan Singh (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), April 02, 2012, 5:21 PM.

The daily, early morning procession in the Darbar Sahib is not really a parbhaat pheri, but a royal procession whereby Guru Granth Sahib is taken in great pomp to the inner sanctum of Harmandar Sahib.

9: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), April 03, 2012, 1:11 AM.

The daily, early morning procession taking the Guru Granth Sahib to the inner sanctum is completely separate and different from the parbhaat pheri which also starts off every morning from the Darbar Sahib carrying the Nishaan Sahib, to go around the neigbourhoods in Amritsar.

10: R. Singh (Canada), April 03, 2012, 1:13 PM.

I do not believe waking up lazy souls was the purpose. This is more of a fad. From what I have seen is people sing and go aound house to house getting, and get treated to goodies. Sikhs do not impose on anyone, as it is a personal duty to wake up and do nitnem, and not necessarily outside of one's house.

11: Naila (Rawalpindi, Pakistan), November 15, 2016, 10:50 AM.

This was very helpful for me. Thank you.

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Sikhing Answers - XVIII"

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