7 Things You Should Know About The Sikh Dining Tradition Of Langar

Updated on 22 Sep, 2014 at 7:15 pm


Sikhs are very popular all over the world for their bravery, generosity and their will to serve their society and country. One example to justify all this is the Langar tradition practiced in Sikhism. The Langar tradition was started by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

After going through this list you’ll get to know more about the love and spirituality attached to the custom.

7. Meaning of Langar

Langar means free kitchen i.e. anyone, from any religion, gender, cast, creed and social status can come and have food prepared and served by Sewadars (volunteers) for free. The main idea behind the concept of Langar is community dining, equality amongst people and the feeling of oneness and sharing.


Meaning of Langar

6. Volunteering

Volunteers or Sewadars are the foundation of Langar tradition. It is because of their urge and unconditional devotion to serve the community that the Langar tradition is still alive and serving even more people than ever. Right from getting the raw materials for the Langar, to cooking, serving and washing the utensils, the Sewadars do their work with full dedication.


5. Origin of the Tradition

Langar consists of simple vegetarian food and is served only after performing Ardas. While preparing the langar, the devotees must recite the Gurbani. The food served should be fresh and hygienically prepared. In the dining hall, devotees sit down on mats which are arranged in a long row. The Sewadars then keep the utensils in front of you, usually consisting of a steel plate with four sections in it, spoon and a bowl for tea or water, after that the Sewadars serve the Dal, Sabzi, Chapati “Parshada”, Pickle and a Desert.

Origin of the Tradition

4. Open Air Langars

On the days of festivals and Gurpurbs to accommodate the large gathering of devotees open air langars are arranged. An open air langar can serve more than 1 Lakh people in a single day. Wherever Sikhs are, they have established their langars. In their prayers, the Sikhs seek from the Almighty the favour: “Loh langar tapde rahin—may the hot plates of the langars remain ever in service.”

Open Air Langars

3. Contribution

Whenever someone visits a Gurudwara, they either give money or raw material for the langar service of the Gurudwara. Many royals of Punjab like Maharaja Ranjit Singh made grants of jagirs to gurdwaras for the maintenance of langars. Similar endowments were created by other Sikh rulers as well. Today, practically every Gurudwara has a langar supported by the community in general.


2. Langar in the Golden Temple

In the Golden Temple Community Kitchen at an average 75,000 devotees or tourists take langar in the Community Kitchen daily; but the number becomes almost double on special occasions. On average 100 Quintal Wheat Flour, 25 Quintal Cereals, 10 Quintal Rice, 5000 Ltr Milk, 10 Quintal Sugar, 5 Quintal Pure Ghee is used a day. Nearly 100 LPG Gas Cylinders are used to prepare the meals. 100’s of employees and devotees render their services to the kitchen.

Langar in the Golden Temple

1. Food, Love, Sharing and Peace

When you go to a Gurudwara to have Langar, the moment you enter the langar hall and sit with people from all walks of life and you are served simple, but tasty food cooked with devotion and love, it suddenly strikes you that these are the little things which we should value the most in our lives, food, love, sharing and peace. Going to an expensive hotel or restaurant does not give that feeling of oneness and satisfaction but a simple meal in a langar hall does.


Food, Love, Sharing and Peace

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