With bonfires and bonhomie, Delhi set to celebrate Lohri

Thursday, January 13, 2011

NEW DELHI - Firewood has been stacked up to be lit into a bonfire in the evening, popcorn, peanuts and sweetmeats bought and the mood is upbeat as the capital prepares to celebrate the harvest festival of Lohri Thursday.

Traditionally associated with the harvest of the rabi crop, Lohri is celebrated with mirth and enjoyment. People celebrate the occasion with feasting, exchange of gifts and songs and dances around bonfires late into the night.

According to Sanchita Sharma, a homemaker, the festival assumes a greater significance if there has been a birth or marriage in the family.

“If there is a new born in the family and it’s his or her first Lohri, the festival is celebrated in a grand manner,” Sharma said.

“The maternal grandparents send gifts, sweets, dry fruits, peanuts, popcorn and other stuff. In case of newly weds, the bride receives a whole lot of gifts,” she added.

Madhu Sood, whose son just got married, said she has made special preparations for the newly weds’ first Lohri.

“We will have a bonfire in the evening and I have made a prasad comprising til (sesame), jaggery, peanuts and others. We have a ritual of pouring milk and water around the bonfire to thank Agni (fire god) and seek blessings,” Sood said.

“After the rituals it will be all fun and lots of enjoyment,” she added.

Besides Lohri, a host of other harvest festivals are also celebrated across the country. So there is Uttarayan in Gujarat, Magh Bihu in Assam and Pongal in south India and Makar Sankranti.

Filed under: Religion

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