Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Celebrating Lohri at Mona Greens, Zirakpur, Punjab

Don’t you miss the heaps of Moongfali (peanuts), bowls full of candies, Rewri, Gajak and Jaggery, the all-night dance and party with the ‘dhol’ and the ‘blazing bonfire’? Yes, we are talking about one of the most famous festivals of Punjab and this time it was the time to perk up this festival with Mona Townships at its Mona Greens premises in Zirakpur. The festival was held on 11th January 2014. Families and friends were gathered around a bonfire in traditional clothes for an evening of rituals, dance, music and food. Lohri, also celebrated in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, is believed to be the longest night of the year. It was mainly done under the roof of Mona greens which was given a tribal look that included Dhol, Cot (Chaarpai), dancing sticks that touched everyone’s heart in the function. A buffet was organized for all the guests with one of the best North Indian curries and other dishes to make the night a memorable one.

The evening was further lightened up with the gracious presence of the below mentioned guest of honor.
  1. Mr Iqbal Singh Sandhu (President, Youth Akali Dal, Tarantaran)
  2. Justice R.K.Nehru

The celebrations started with the lighting up of the bonfire by the President followed by the Justice then by our Mona Townships Chairman and many other guests who were accompanied by the office staff. Ritual of offering, the Prasad like peanuts, jaggery to the pious fire was performed first. The mood in the place was upbeat and the guests were totally absorbed in the festive spirit of Lohri. Everyone danced to the beat of the dhol around the bonfire to mark the gaiety of this auspicious festival. All had a party time. 

The Lohri Blast was co hosted by 94.3 My FM, with Radio Jockeys Meenakshi and RJ Jassi electrifying the whole environment. They hosted the function from 6 PM till 11 PM and made everyone enjoy the function to the fullest.

Lohri is one of the greatest festivals of Punjab and Haryana. It is celebrated after the harvesting of the Rabi (winter) crops, Lohri involves cheerfulness and joviality. Traditional bonfire, music, dances and cuisine which heightens the festivity were added to the day. Makki ki roti and sarson ka saag composed the dinner. To fire up the Lohri Eve people danced on the tunes of Bhangra Music with all the musical instruments like Dhol & Manjeera. Many traditional sweets were served like kheer on this auspicious occasion. Everyone was eagerly waiting to celebrate Lohri and had planned the entire event all among themselves. 

This festival is marked by a range of traditional exciting activities such as lighting the ritualistic bonfire during the evening, dancing on the beats of the dhol, traditional handmade dishes, singing popular folklore around the bonfire and enjoying sumptuous feast. The folklores are also an integral part of Lohri which is all about expressing gratitude to the good harvest season and the natural elements such as water, wind and fire. 

Lighting the bonfire in Lohri symbolizes offering prayers to Lord Agni (god of fire) to shower blessing on the land with abundance of crops and prosperity. The Lohri feast includes popular traditional feast such as makki-di-roti and sarson-da-saag. It was a fun filled festivity celebrated in Zirakpur,Punjab.Festival of Lohri has become so famous that people of all caste and creed celebrate it with great joy. Both the guests said that the whole function was a mixture of modern and traditional culture and heritage.  It is now celebrated by everyone. Bhangra was performed by Professional Bhangra dancers who were especially called to give a charm to the festival. The performance forced the gathering to stamp feet with the ongoing performance. Also, the decor was turned for a posh club to a village with earthen pots and kites all around the venue. Finally, it was time for some dancing. On the nagara beats, members Iqbal Singh Sandhu (President, Youth Akali Dal, Tarantaran) and Justice R.K Nehru, were seen enjoying this great event.

Despite of all the dhol guys, there was DJ who had put together a mixture of some cool bhangra tracks including the traditional food. Place was colorful as everyone chose the most colorful dress in wardrobe that seemed to be the official dress code. They all gathered enough energy  when the dhol began to play. The bhangra session began when everyone tried to match the step of another. It was a great time of the evening to see great joy on everyone’s face and all dancing with happiness at different corners of the premises.

Final Touch 
Everyone was seen gathering around a bonfire, singing songs, and offering rewdi, peanuts and popcorns. Both the guests were seen enjoying the party till wee hours. Good music and sumptuous refreshments made this event a hit amongst the guests as they bonded over good food and music. Lohri is big for everyone when we make it a point to get together and celebrate it every year with others. After lighting the bonfire and performing the rituals, everyone was offered vermilion, 'kheer' (rice pudding) and 'bataashe' (a sweet).

All the guests and staff were very happy to be a part of this ceremony organised by Mona Townships and 94.3 MY FM. Lohri is the festival of Punjab, famously known as the bread-basket state of India. Thus, people residing in Punjab attach a great significance to Lohri, the festival of feasts and foods. This harvest festival is celebrated to mark both celebration and sharing. Lohri festival prompts people to be thankful for God’s provisions and to celebrate his creations; its main focus is on farming” said one of the guests. Lohri keeps us in touch with our traditions and customs. Lohri is the time of amusement and excitement. Significance of Lohri is no more restricted to celebration only but also implies a wonderful time for people in the community to rejoice and rejuvenate themselves from their chore and unite to share some fun and relieve the cultural values. People exchange Lohri wishes to spread and celebrate the spirit of festivity. 

Party View In Mona Greens

Like other members/ residents  of the society of Mona Greens property, I was a privileged one to get to attend this function and had a wonderful time to remember for a life time. I thank and wish Mona Townships to keep organizing such functions for the togetherness and happiness of all.

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