My Impressions About Lohri Celeberation

Happy Lohri to all… 


Khichri and Ghee…

Lohri day brings to my mind so many memories each trying to take centre stage relegating others backstage! Each impression has been an eye opener for me and has made me learn so many lessons of life.Some pertain to my childhood—Steaming hot Khichri with ladles of clarified ghee over poured, having a bath early in the morning, the dry fruits surrounding us, the lohri songs being sung, the heaps of chillers that we would distribute equally among us kids and the good feeling of having made some money of our own. Khichri would be prepared with all the ceremonial importance due the occasion. The aroma of the paste of ginger, garlic, green chilies and the garam-masala would raid our nostrils in the morning but the ritual bath early in the morning would be a compulsion that in the winter chill of Shimla we would have to take quite early, rather the first thing, in the morning. Th ladles of ghee would be taken that day. I pity the young generation today for being so careful about not taking ghee though what I would suggest them is to work more to burn calories. Thank God I don’t have any guilt feeling taking up ladle-full of ghee even today when I am fifty. I have learnt to eat well and to work well to burn all those over-eaten fats rather than neither to eat more nor to work more.

Another is from my childhood in Shimla when we sat near the fire throughout the day, when it had snowed outside, making strings of dry fruits—neojas, almonds, walnuts, kishmish, pista and kaju etc. and would put them in our necks and relish eating them later though would eat a lot during the operation string making as well escaping ma’s very prying eyes!! Perhaps it was an ingenious way to keep us indoors when it was so cold outside. I learnt to think of innovative methods to keep kids busy and occupied as well to give them a pleasant memory to cherish.


The Lohri Specialities…

There is another impression pertaining to the time when I had stopped seeking Lohri from all uncles and aunts as I was a growing up teen-ager and had become conscious of myself. That Lohri evening I was sent on an errand to someone’s home where the Lohri plunder was being distributed among all the kids who had gone singing Lohri songs and collecting the money given as Lohri, I was given an equal share though I had not been a party to the group having gone braving the chilly weather as well as chilly and inclement looks of some householders! I learnt to be generous while sharing the booty. There was not even a single frown on the face of the kids when they happily divided the money equally with an unearning member of the group. So much for the socialist pattern of thinking without even having heard a word about Karl Marx!I learnt to share all that had without a frown.

Some more generate a different feeling as these were very personal feelings. The day I was coming home from the college and saw in the bus so many newly married women going to their parents’ home to celebrate Lohri while I, bone-tired, from personal and professional work could not think of any such possibility. I suddenly had an urge to be with my mother and take all the comfort that her mere presence could give me. But instead went to my Ma-in-law! The feeling must have been very strong to have left this impression as today, after about 20 years, I suddenly am deluged with the same feeling and the same helplessness of not been able to go! I learnt to put duty first and my priorities last!

I wonder if the present generation kids, too, are learning some of the good things from Lohri or are they becoming so business minded that they have penned Lohri songs stressing the amount of money that they would take—or the way they come in a group having not more than two members so that the booty is not divided among more and the share is relatively more. So much for learning!Or when young and old men and women dance around Lohri fire and indulge in all kinds of hooliganism all in the name of Lohri celebration! I wonder what cultural values would they be spreading around.Perhaps I am getting old and I try to find the values that I still cherish in the world around. But perhaps all those are long lost in the present day modern society.

The old order must change to pave way to the new! 

3 thoughts on “My Impressions About Lohri Celeberation

  1. Hi Aunty ji,

    Happy Lohri !!

    The write-up on Lohri is a feast for eyes and mind :).

    In this era of globalization, hence inducted professionalism, we miss to enjoy regional cultural festivities.

    Interestingly, with the rays of hope, the cultural conscious people are keeping them intact to a possible extent, inducing their values into the descendants.

    The cultural and traditional values related with festivities (with added regional culinary aromas) make our Indian culture unique. Hope our culturally conscious Indian genX revives it again to recognize the fact .

    – Prem

  2. aarkay

    Very nice indeed, with pictures of mouth- watering ghee-khichdi, and moogphali ki gajjak etc. having spent all of my child hood at shimla, i, too have been a witness to and part of the festivities that went on 13th of January (Lohri day)every year. sitting around the bonfire during the cold wintry night and during the day moving in groups singing, rather chanting-sunder mumdriye ho – tera kaun bichara ho- dulla bhathi wala ho and ‘demanding’ lohri from neighbours and even passers by.this was the punjabi way of celebrating lohri. however,for us, the hill folk, it was the next day when makar sankranti or saji was celebrated . each one in the family, despite biting cold, was made to take an early morning bath and after this as many potlies as members in the family, containing rice, mash , til ke laddoo-and a coin were kept for giving away in ‘daan’. Thereafter, we were treated to a liberal repast of ghee khichdi. the more religious made it a point to go to tatapani for a bath.

  3. Pingback: Happy Makar Sakranti to all! « Straight from the Heart…..

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