Ditch Kite Flying to Traditional Decoration This Lohri
Lohri is one amongst the foremost ordinarily celebrated festivals in India. The celebration gives a reason to unfold the thrill of seeing the sparkling pearls of Rabi crops amidst folk songs, dance and delicious food.
Significance of Lohri
It is celebrated every year on 13th of January to worship fire. Lohri festival is well known with nice elegance in North Asian countries. At this point, Earth starts moving towards the sun marking the auspicious Uttarayan. Lohri is very important for the newlywed and the newborn babies as it signifies fertility too. At night, folks gather around the bonfire and throw cereal & popcorns into the flames of the bonfire. Prayers are offered to the fire seeking abundance & good fortune. Folks have fun by performing arts & singing traditional songs.
The cultural history of this festival centers on a Rajput tribe called Bhatti, during the reign of Akbar in the inhabited parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Gujarat. King of Pindi Bhattian, Dulla Bhatti, was sentenced to death by the Mughal king for revolting against him. The history of the tribe is traced by the tribal street singers, who claim that Maharaja Ranjit Singh is one of their scions. He was regarded as a hero in Punjab. Besides robbing, he reclaimed poor Punjabi ladies, being forcibly taken to be sold in mart of the center east from the sandal Bar region. He organized their marriages to boys and provided them with dowries. Amongst them were two ladies Sundri & Mundri(Married in 1614) who gradually became a theme of Punjab folklore. So some Lohri songs express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.
To add a bit of zing to your celebrations, we have got some ideas that will make the day special.
- Vibrant décor: Use traditional ideas like painted earthen pots, bangles, hand-painted bottles, colorful pinwheels, etc to add color to your celebration. That’s how they do it in villages. It will add an authentic flavor to your party décor.
- Fire Balloons: Make balloon décor that resembles a bonfire. Use red and yellow color pipe balloons for the fire and brown for the wood.
- Desserts: A sweet talker that Punjabis are, a Punjabi celebration is incomplete without an array of sweets served for a Lohri celebration. Raise a toast to winter favorite desserts like Phirni, Gulab jamun, Kheer, rabdi jalebi and if possible get someone to make piping hot malpuas and serve with pistachio and rabdi. Your guests will love it!
- Hay: Use hay, commonly seen in Punjab for décor. It is cheap and pretty. It will help you balance out the outburst of color. You can keep it around in bunches, or stuff clear bottles with it and hang it.
Kite Flying is one of the common activities of this festival and celebrating Lohri through kite flying is no doubt a mode of enjoyment for the youth, but it is a torture for the birds who get hurt through the plastic kite strings. Kite-flying takes a toll on birds as the local people celebrate Lohri. The plastic kite string with a coating of glass was introduced in the Indian market from China. It does not break and hence, is dangerous not only for birds but even for human beings. Though the use of the string has been banned, it is available freely in the local market. If you won’t be able to avoid then try to use only the locally manufactured kite string to prevent untoward incidents from spoiling the spirit of the festival.
This year, it is my humble request to all the people who are looking forward to celebrating Lohri, to not use strings that hurt birds or humans. Let’s celebrate this festival of happiness by spreading smiles and no injuries.