Bhubaneswar:  The vibrant Punjabi community of Bhubaneswar celebrated Lohri, the grand Indian harvest festival with joy and fervour and all the  associated cultural paraphernalia. More than 400 members of the Punjabi community got together at the Punjab Bhavan in Bhubaneswar. The celebration began during the late evening with friends and relatives gathering at the venue. The formal ‘Lohri Poojan’ was performed before lighting up the bonfire after sunset. Members gathered around the bonfire threw popcorn, sugar-candies, sesame seeds, gur and other things in the fire as per the Lohri tradition. While elders of the community were felicitated, the youth and children were awarded with  prizes for their various achievements.  

Lohri is a popular winter festival of harvest celebrated widely by Sikhs and Hindus across India. It is observed the night before Makar Sankranti and is celebrated with great pomp and show in the north Indian region. The first of the many Hindu festivals in the year, Lohri holds a special place among the farming community as it is a festival of harvest, marking the end of long, cold nights of the winter solstice.

Amidst  the winter chill, the vibrant festival of Lohri brings warmth, joy, and a sense of togetherness. Celebrated in the  entire Punjabi diaspora worldwide,  this auspicious festival holds immense cultural significance. Amidst the crackling warmth of bonfires and the rhythmic beats of the dhol, the Lohri celebration unfolds, enveloping the community in a tapestry of joy and togetherness.

The celebration of Lohri is rooted in various cultural, agricultural, and historical reasons. Agriculturally, it marks the end of the winter harvesting season, providing farmers with an opportunity to express gratitude for a good yield. Culturally, it is a time for communities to come together, strengthen bonds, and celebrate the spirit of togetherness.

Adding to the festive atmosphere is the Bhangra, a spirited dance form deeply rooted in Punjabi culture. With rhythmic footwork and lively movements, Bhangra becomes a joyful expression of the celebration. It’s more than just a dance; it’s a cultural tradition that binds the community together, celebrating life and togetherness.

Together, the bonfire, folk songs, Bhangra, and the dhol beats create a festive experience that embodies the essence of Lohri. It’s a celebration beyond observation, inviting everyone to the joyous festivity. Like a symbol of community spirit, the bonfire lights up not only the night sky but also the hearts of all those who join in the festivities.