Belapur resident, Dr Amandeep Kaur’s nine-month-old son, Anhadvir, will be celebrating his first Lohri this year, therefore the Singhs have elaborate plans for celebration. “My son is just nine months old and so we all are excited about this year’s Lohri. We have invited around 250 friends and relatives from Punjab, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The celebration will be held at Punjab Bhavan and in addition to the traditional gidda and bhangra performances, my daughter will be dancing to Lohri songs. The day will surely be fulfilling for all of us,” said Dr Kaur.
Lohri falls on the Paush month and is usually celebrated with much splendour on January 13. The festival is considered to be one of the most important occasions for the community, especially for the newborn and newly-wedded couples. Like every year, cultural organisations, housing societies in Navi Mumbai are gearing up to celebrate the festival with much gaiety.
Another Belapur resident, Avtar Singh Siddhu, who recently got married, is expecting a gathering of around 150 relatives and friends. “We invite many relatives to share our happiness and take blessings of the elders. A special khichdi with sugarcane juice is prepared the night before and traditional Punjabi delicacies are served. The bonfire is lit and we all dance around it ,” he said.
Seawoods Estate residents will celebrate Lohri in the traditional way, keeping up with their practice. Many people come together on this day as a lot of joyous activities are planned.
Jasmine Khurana, member of the cultural committee said, “We also make it a point to brief residents on the various significances of celebrating the festival. One of it is the contribution of Dulla Bhatti, a tribal warlord, who looted the rich to keep the poor happy.
He was known to have saved two girls from slave trade and having raised them like his own daughters. We will be singing the famous ‘Dulla Bhatti Walla Ho’ song, in addition to various other Lohri songs.” She added that a group of 10-15 women, dressed in bright salwar suits, will render the traditional gidda dances. A bonfire will be made, and senior citizens of the society with light it first. The others will join in to put peanuts, revdi, popcorns and other sweets, before distributing them.
Conveying his opinion on the celebration, Baljit Singh, executive member of the Punjabi Cultural Welfare Association said, “We need to change our thinking for celebrating Lohri as many still consider it to be a celebration for boys. I just remember attending my nephew’s Lohri function with the way I celebrate in Punjab. I did not see the same enthusiasm among my relatives in Punjab when my daughter, Sifti Kaur was born. It is a shame that many still do not celebrate Lohri for girls.” Singh, who is also the chief promoter of a trust called Roar 4 Change asserted that the trust will make an account of girls being born in the city in 2014 and collectively celebrate their Lohri in 2015.
Housing societies line up several programmes
Seawoods Estate residents will celebrate Lohri in the traditional way, keeping up with their practice. Many people come together on this day as a lot of joyous activities are planned
Enthusiastic women in Seawoods Estate have a gala time singing Lohri songs and performing gidda
Another important aspect of the Lohri celebrations is the bonfire that will be made. At Seawoods Estate, senior citizens of the society will light the bonfire first. The others will join in to put peanuts, revdi, popcorns and other sweets, before distributing them.