I am from Patiala, Punjab where Lohri, the festival in feasts and foods is celebrated with great fanfare and enthusiasm. As a kid I have seen Lohri being celebrated in the most authentic manner with men and women dressed in traditional outfits and performing every ritual in true Punjabi style. The children of the house used to sing the traditional Lohri song, go from house to house where people would oblige them generously by giving them money and eatables as offering for the festival.
We used to pile up logs of wood for a bonfire, friends and relatives gather around it and perform Bhangra and Gidda around the bonfire. While going around the fire offerings of peanuts, rayveri and sweets are made followed by people dancing around the fire to the beat of Dhol. My mouth instantly waters thinking of the delicious til, rayveri, gajak, sarson da saag and makki di roti.
Rubina Dilaik (Radhika of Chotti Bahu) – Every festival consisting of dance, rituals prayers and savories meant that people will dress up for the occasion and this is exactly what I looked forward to every year during Lohri. I cannot dance to save my life but I loved the bonfire and people singing and praying around the fire. I loved dressing up and dancing around the central fire … everybody looked so beautiful in their bright churidaars and lehengaas.
Vikramjeet Virk (Mahmud GHaznavi of Shobha Somnath Ki)– I used to love singing and dancing on the traditional songs with my cousins. Lohri used to be a huge family get-together followed by a lavish dinner spread. Every member of the family was in charge of a particular activity. We children took the responsibility of collecting dry twigs and branches to make a bonfire. The bigger the bonfire the better is the Lohri celebration. Gud ki mithaii, makke di roti, sarson da saag and the compulsion within to enjoy the last few days of winter would make Lohri special every year. Kite flying is especially big on this day and there is no bigger thrill that see the opponent’s kite being cut by yours. This competitive spirit and familial celebration is what Lohri is all about! It has always been a lot of fun celebrating it with the entire family.
Puru Chibber (Sachin of Pavitra Rishta) – Lohri is celebrated in a big way in my daadi’s house in Gurgaon. So the last big Lohri celebration was there two years back. Here, it is just my parents, my sister and myself. Then there are
our long work schedules which keep us perpetually preoccupied. However, we usually celebrate it in our own small way just in the family. Mom, does the puja in which we all join in, post which the entire family goes out for dinner.
Deeya Chopra (Reeya of Mrs Kaushik Ki Paanch Bahuyein) – Despite icy winds, the festive mood of Lohri is about keeping its warmth owing to its Bonfire celebration. It is an accepted fact that this festival is to worship fire. Lohri is not a religious festival, but a celebration marking the end of an intense winter and it also celebrates the sowing of the rabi crop. It celebrates the arrival of the new month and the new season and is a festival of happiness and anybody new in the family adds to its fervor.