Among the thousands upon thousands of martyrs in the Sikh tradition, many Sikhs commemorate the four that are uniquely inspiring. The Char Sahibzade are the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh who died within 6 days of each other. The elder two were martyred on December 21st and the younger two on December 26th. While some Sikhs choose to remember their deaths with temporary displays of austerity, we prefer to remember their lives and celebrate their courageousness. In Punjab, Sikhs celebrate this holiday with a three day festival known as the Shaheedi Jor Mela. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown this year, we're sharing an activity my husband and I created a few years ago to commemorate this anniversary at home with your children.
Standing on Courage
This activity teaches your children the values of courage and sacrifice and the names of Guru Gobind Singh's four sons. As with any activity on this website, its meant to teach a lesson about virtues. If they don't enjoy the activity or they aren't learning anything, don't do it. The last thing you want to do is create an empty ritual for your children.
Colored pencils or crayons
Lion coloring page for each child
1. On December 21st, briefly explain why you are commemorating the Char Sahibzade to your children. An example could be, "For the next seven days, we commemorate the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, who stood for courage and justice". If your children are very young, you may want to leave out the part about their death and instead focus on their courage. If your children are older, then its important to mention that the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh died in battle and at the hands of an executioner without compromising their ideals.
2. Give each child their coloring pencils and the lion coloring page. Explain that they will be coloring a lion because the lion represents courage.
3. When they are done, ask them to write the names of each of the Char Sahibzade on a leg of the lion they just colored. Their names were:
Explain that its because of their courage and the sacrifices and thousands of others that we stand today. Have each child post their lion picture on the wall from December 21st until December 26th.