Devotees celebrate Lohri at Boston Shivalaya

Pt Badalji conducting worship and Aarti
Pt Badalji conducting worship and Aarti

BOSTON: The Shivalaya Temple of Greater Boston was packed by the traditionally dressed Punjabi devotees on the occasion of Lohri festival celebrated on January 13 at 6 pm, a day before Makar Sankranti.

Devotees along with their families and friends offered special prayers with devotion for prosperity and peace. After Maha Mangalarati, devotees gathered in the hall to observe traditional Bharatnatyam, Bhangra and some Bollywood dances by little kids and singing folklores by adults. The whole show was put together by very talented Selhi brothers, Chirag and Anurag. Gopibahen entertained the devotees by singing ‘Sunder Mundriye’ and danced rhythmically to the tunes of Chirag’s ‘Dhol’.

Anurag invited all the newly wed couples on the stage and sang folklores with Chirag for their happy and long married life. More than a dozen new-borns were introduced to devotees and were blessed for long life. The couples and new parents were given sweet packets as token of blessing by the temple president S Vijay Kumar Selhi to enjoy their married lives and parenthood respectively.

Then came a long awaited part of Lohri festival, the worship of the bonfire. Temple priest Pandit Jay Narayan Badal performed Ganesh Puja with utmost devotion before lighting the bonfire. He chanted shlokas for Fire God Agni and the Sun God for their blessings. Pt. Badalji asked all the devotees to do Aarti to Agni Deva who is a source of energy and spiritual strength and offer flowers and bhoga that included peanuts, popcorn and sweets made of til-chirva, gajak and revri.

Devotees also offered sugarcane and radish as well to Agni Deva, which are generally harvested in January, to bring health and prosperity to all. Pt. Badalji also wished and blessed every devotee: May this festival bring lot of happiness and joy into their lives. More than 400 devotees celebrated this festival with full fervor around the bonfire. Subash Bansal, Sohan Saini, Jasbeer Saini and Devender Dutt managed the crowd meticulously and requested all the devotees to enjoy the sumptuous Lohri Mahaprasad.

Sudarshanji thanked Medford Gurdwara Kitchen Committee for preparing delicious Mahaprasad for this festive occasion. He also thanked profusely all the devotees for making this event a grand success and a memorable one. Last but not least, he appreciated and thanked from bottom of his heart all the volunteers of the temple who worked hard with great devotion and dedication.

Geetha Patil

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