Come Lohri, and one can see the residents of the Capital preparing to ring in winter festival with community celebrations alongside bonfire. Whether it’s the folk songs of the festival, or soaking in the sweet warmth of the fire, or just munching winter delicacies such as rewari, gajjak and peanuts, Lohri finds much fervour among Delhiites. However, with the third wave of Covid-19 upon us, most of the popular personalities have decided to scale down their celebrations. From not stepping out, to celebrating in a bio bubble, here’s how they are marking the occasion today.
Ask how will Lohri be celebrated this time, and Olympic shooter Manu Bhaker says, “Currently we are in Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range SAI hostel, and we have a plan for celebration in place. Lohri bonfire, gajjak, rewari and other festival special edibles sweeten the feeling. Generally we distribute rewari and gajjak to all including all security personnel and SAI staff. All athletes like me are in a bio bubble and stay inside our hostels. Hence, there is no worry about Covid-19. I wish a Happy Lohri to everyone!”
City-based author and historian Vikramjit Singh Rooprai says: “On Lohri, there is a ceremony at my home each year, where we have a small family bonfire. We’ve been celebrating Lohri ever since I can remember. Two-three houses in the same lane do a combined bonfire and join in the celebrations. Neighbours would often stand by your bonfire, so there’s a camaraderie that’s built. This time, we’d celebrate it in a safe way with moongfali (peanuts) and rewari in the traditional fashion. One specialty we always make is sarson ka saag and gur wale chawal. Haven’t missed these Lohri delicacies for a single year.”
Delhi-based author Aanchal Malhotra says, “We celebrate Lohri almost every year in the traditional way, with a bonfire outside our house in Delhi and dry fruits and other Lohri fare. This time, however, many members of my family are indisposed, even though I am not, so Lohri will be a low-key affair, and won’t be too exciting like previous years.”
Artist Arpana Caur, who lives with her mother, says, “My mother and I are both senior citizens with a medical history. It’s sad, but we’d probably have to make do with seeing Lohri on TV this time. We would light some candles and distribute moongfali and popcorn and gajjak to staff. One is also not in a celebratory mood like previous years, since there is illness around,” says Caur referring to a couplet from the popular song Vaishnav Jan To and says “One should be mindful of others’ suffering. Pir parayi jaane re.”
Theatre and film actor Kuljeet Singh, who appeared last year in Sardar Udham (2021), also has plans to ring in Lohri on a subtle note. “We’re all stuck in our homes again. The plan this time is to be in our home premises for Lohri. We’re fortunate to have a terrace so we’d use that for a bonfire. We’d be singing songs of Lohri and having festive special food like bajre ki meethi roti, til wali rewri, and gur wali chai. I’m anyway preferring gur and shakkar on white sugar now because during Covid I’m focussing on health! Any human being at this time would need a window to rejoice, and Lohri is a festival to celebrate life, togetherness and each other, albeit safely.”
Author tweets @siddhijainn
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