Freezing weather, dip in temperature, foggy sky and chill in the wind.. ahh! Winter has set in and the air of festivity has started blooming. The advent of January reminds us of Lohri, the festival of harvest. In fact, Lohri is the biggest harvest festival celebrated with huge dashes across North India, mainly Punjab. Delicious food (both sweet and tangy), friends and family gathering, bonfire, traditional songs, Punjabi folk dance and year-old rituals – all play an integral part of Lohri celebration. And if it is your first Lohri, then the festival turns all the more exciting.
It’s your first Lohri but you’re not sure how to make the most of it. Here’s a quick guide:
Where to Shop?
Lohri is all about getting decked up in the ethnic way. Ethnic shopping for Lohri reminds me of some old traditional markets of North India. The list becomes incomplete without mentioning Chandni Chowk of Old Delhi and Hall Bazaar of Amritsar. A magnificent collection of phulkari salwar suits, richly embroidered Punjabi jootis, churidar pyjama, kurta, patiala salwar, Rajasthani turbans, jhumkas and colourful parandis available in these markets make them ideal for Lohri shopping. Your experienced sasuma will be the best guide for your first Lohri shopping!
Where to Hire the Dhol Walas?
Dhol and traditional Punjabi folk dance form an integral part of Lohri celebrations. Pardeep Rana Dhol Wala, Ashok Rana Dhol Wala and Ravi Sharma Band are well known dhol groups of Delhi that can be hired for the function. Colourfully dressed band players effortlessly put the required energy, adding life to the event.
What to Eat and Cook?
Yes! Now comes the point. A variety of lip-smacking food is prepared in every home before Lohri. Some of those sweet delicacies are Ganne Ki Kheer, Dry Fruit Chikki, Coconut Chikki, Pinnie, Gajak and Shengdana Chikki. Goodies like til, rayveri, peanuts, puffed rice, gajak and popcorn are also consumed in the form of ‘prasad’. To make the festival tangy, arrange for a bar-be-que and relish spicy tandoori chicken, mutton malai kebab and paneer tikka.
What about Action?
Lohri is all about action and in case it is your first one, then the list is huge. Bonfire is the focal point of action. Bring friends and relatives along, dance bhangra (traditional Punjabi dance) and gidda around the fire to the beats of dhol and flaunt your colourful parandi and patiala. First lohri? All right.. Get ready for a second round of ‘saat phere’ with your partner.
Want to Celebrate Lohri Away from Home?
Definitely the terrace or lawn of your house is the best place. However, Delhi is flooded with many public places like gardens and restaurants that organize Lohri parties. India Habitat Centre is one of the most eye-catching places in Delhi to attend Lohri function away from home. Along with a grand buffet dinner, it also organizes traditional dance and bonfire to celebrate the festivity. Come, relish a range of vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes like Sarson Da Saag, Keema Chakundari and more on the winter evening of Lohri.
This Year, Go For an Eco-Friendly Lohri?
Atleast, give it a try! A small initiative would be to organize bonfire with community members, rather than organizing it at individual households. The idea will turn both eco-friendly and fun-filled. Think about heating the logs before burning. It will reduce the amount of emitted smoke and keep you healthy all through. Newbies too can make their first Lohri an environment friendly one.
Let us come together, celebrate the Festival of Harvest and at the same time make our surrounding a better place to live.