Lohri is an Indian festival celebrated on the 13th of January every year, just before Makar Sankranti. It is an important harvest festival celebrated in North India with great pomp and show. The celebration of Lohri is mainly observed in Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Delhi. The festivities take place as worship to mother nature thanking her and welcoming the sun's journey to the northern hemisphere. Lohri marks the beginning of the harvest season and is an important festival in India owing to our agrarian society. On Lohri, everyone meets at a common place to celebrate the festivities, distributing sweets and welcoming the new season together often in front of a bonfire and singing songs around it.
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The preparations for Lohri begin a month to a few weeks before the festival. People of all age groups - kids and elders alike, collect wooden sticks which are then burnt on Lohri. The houses are decorated and homemade sweets are prepared. The day of the festival begins like any other Indian festival, with sweets exchanged. The main ingredients used in the sweet preparations include sesame, jaggery, peanuts, and popcorn, among others. In the evening, people gather at a common place in front of their houses and light a bonfire. People go around the fire and throw rice, popcorn, and other produce as a tribute to God in order to receive blessings for a prosperous season. This activity is followed by a healthy meal usually including traditional dishes like makki di roti and sarson da saag, which are prepared from corn and spinach. The festival is celebrated with music, dance, and singing. All the people, men, and women alike, wear traditional clothes and dance to the tunes of folk music created with the help of dhol. In regions like Punjab and Delhi, traditional bhangra is enjoyed by everyone too.
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In India, Lohri is celebrated in full-swing in the North, especially in Amritsar, Jalandhar, Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana.
Chandigarh is the capital of Haryana and Punjab and celebrates Lohri in the traditional manner. They attend Lohri parties, meet family and friends, wear traditional clothes and devour the local delicacies.
The iconic Golden Temple in Amritsar is lit up beautifully on the occasion of Lohri making it a must-visit place. The meals prepared at the temple in the community kitchens are fresh and delicious.
Ludhiana Lohri celebrations include a lot of bhangra and traditional dances. There are many dance performing groups in the city, which perform Bhangra and Gidda on the streets in colourful attire. Bright clothing, lights, music make it a cheerful affair.
The country's capital celebrates the spirit of Lohri with fun activities all around the city. Communities arrange competitions for entertainment and prepare a range of traditional dishes like atta ladoos,sarson da saad, gur ki gajak etc. Though the city may not celebrate the festival very traditionally, it is an occasion to meet near and dear ones and visit temples and gurudwara together.
Jalandhar celebrates the festival very traditionally. The city is one of the most ancient places in Punjab. Though there are modern developments in the city, the locals try to keep the festival a traditional affair.
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