The Lohri festival is around the corner and people in North India have already started preparing for celebrations. Unlike other festivals, it falls on the same date every year i.e., on 13 January according to the solar calendar. Being celebrated mainly in Punjab and Haryana, Lohri is popularly known as a harvest festival that marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of a new season with the harvest of main winter crops for farmers. The festival is dedicated to the Sun God and thus, the bonfire forms the core of the festivity that also brings the entire neighborhood, friends, and family together.
Mr. Mudit Jaju, Founder of CherishX told HerZindagi that "since Lohri is celebrated a day before Makar Sakranti, another significance attached to the festival is the culture of kite flying. However, owing to the pandemic situation, it is going to be a muted celebration this year. The kite makers and sellers in Punjab’s Amritsar are also facing severe losses with a significant dip in their sales. Furthermore, the restrictions on huge gatherings are going to affect the celebratory spirit but that doesn’t mean one cannot plan the celebration at home following preventive protocols to make it safer this year."
Here are some tips shared by Jaju which will help you plan a safer celebration for the festival.
Lohri Decoration For Home
This year, celebrations cannot be grand but if you’re planning to host a Lohri party at home, spend some time planning for decoration. Bring a traditional vibe to your home by adding the elements that depict the true essence of the festival.
This can be done by ordering a theme-based decoration kit online, instead of going out to the market and spending ample time collecting the right material. Look for Lohri decoration kits having kites, colourful lanterns, and lights that are perfect to set up a winter evening at your place.
Garden Lohri Decoration
Since we are taking measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, it is necessary to plan the celebrations outdoors. If you are planning a celebration for a newly married couple or a new baby in the family, plan the celebrations at the back yard or garden of your home.
This could be the right place adorned with lanterns, kites, theme-based cutouts, and lights. This sort of decoration initiates the festival with traditional vibes and positivity. Also, sitting around the bonfire with your loved ones and enjoying the decorative ambiance around uncovers the celebratory spirit.
Limit The Gathering
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government authorities have laid several restrictions on public gatherings. Before the pandemic hit our country, Lohri was celebrated with great enthusiasm that people used to host grand celebrations in banquets and party halls. However, to have a safe celebration, the government is urging families to stay indoors and take all safety measures at the party.
In this situation, the number of guests you are planning to invite play a huge significance. The best way out is to limit the gathering so that the guests maintain a physical distance of at least 6 ft. It is always better to invite your close ones to ensure safety for each of them.
Lohri is the festival of Punjab and it is incomplete without traditional delicacies. The festival begins with a bonfire but it always involves the preparation of feasts from jaggery, sesame, and peanuts. To complement the celebrations of Lohri, go for special dishes instead of ordering food from outside.
Try your hands on sarson ka saag and makki ki roti, gur and atta laddoo, gur ki gajjak, til rewari, etc. With these dishes, you can prepare a special ‘lohri ki thali’ and serve it to your guests.
Do Not Self-Isolate
Lohri is all about showing gratitude to God and togetherness with people. Many people are still afraid of catching coronavirus infection. They self-isolate themselves and miss out on special occasions. However, this needs to be avoided. One can always attend celebrations while following the protocols of prevention. Wear a mask properly, avoid touching surfaces, stand away from people, and enjoy the festival.
This festival marks hope and prosperity and it can be celebrated on a small scale. Sitting around the sacred fire with decorative ambiance and enjoying a traditional meal describes the true spirit of Lohri.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more tips on safer celebrations.