Lohri celebrated in Delhi with drum beats and bonfires

January 13th, 2010 - 10:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) Braving the chill, thousands of residents of the capital Wednesday danced to the beats of the drum, lit bonfires and offered prayers to celebrate Lohri, a festival that marks the beginning of the harvesting season in north India.
“We light bonfires and then everyone goes around it offering til (sesame seeds), gur (molasses) and ground nuts to the fire praying for prosperity and peace throughout the year,” said Sandip Singh, a resident of Mayur Vihar in east Delhi.

People came together at a designated place in their locality to celebrate the festival that is also known for increasing brotherhood and nurturing good relationship among neighbours.

In several localities like Rajouri Garden, Vikas Puri, Tilak Nagar, Dilshad Garden and other parts of the capital, people were seen celebrating the occasion dancing to Punjabi and Bollywood numbers.

“We invite all our neighbours, irrespective of whether they are Punjabis or non-Punjabis, and it gives us an opportunity to know them better,” said Kamaljeet Singh, who is celebrating the first Lohri of his grandson.

Traditionally, Lohri is celebrated on a grand scale by families that have a newlywed couple or a newborn child.

People eat rewri, a preparation made of sesame seeds and molasses, ground nuts and popcorn to keep themselves warm in the winter chill.

In Punjab, farmers celebrate the occasion as their fields are ready with the Rabi crop. It also marks the beginning of the new month according to the Hindu calender.

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