Lohri celebrated with fanfare at Hari Om Mandir

A section of the audience
A section of the audience

CHICAGO: Lohri was celebrated with great fanfare at Hari Om Mandir in Medinah, a northwest suburb of Chicago on January 13 with a large participation, the cold and snowy weather notwithstanding.

The devotees celebrated the day with traditional food of Saag (Mustard Greens), Makki Ki Roti (Corn), Lassi (Buttermilk), followed by a vibrant cultural evening of Gidda, Bhangra, Jago, Punjabi folk songs, culminating in a lively night of blazing bonfire.

The Mandir was beautifully decorated on the traditional theme of a Punjabi village. The newly wed bride & groom sitting by the Lohri fire, enjoying the treats of the season like Moongphali, Popcorn, Rewari, Bhugga etc. The Hukka, Charkha, Chullah, the Village Well with costumes like Kurtis, Jackets and Pagris hanging in the backdrop.

As part of the celebrations, ladies dressed in colorful Phulkaris and Punjabi suits performed Giddha led by Mona Sharma, Rajeshwari Rawat and team. The guys were not behind. Tushar Sharma along with Sahil Butani and Arjun Vyas did Bhangra. Several ladies from the congregation joined the two young brides – Amrit Salwan and Nirvka Sharma, who led the Jago team – special Pot (Gaggar with lighted lamps/candles). The beat of the Dhol by Ajay Ghai set the mood, and very soon everybody joined to dance their hearts out on Punjabi Boliyan- sung by Deepak Sharma, Subhash Sharma and Atwal.

Satpal Salwan, Chairman Board of Trustees and Vipan Wadhera, President Executive Board, greeted everybody on this auspicious occasion and congratulated all the new born babies, newly weds on the First Lohri occasion. Lohri wishes were given to the newly wed couples of the Hari Om Parivar – Manish & Amrit Salwan, Chandan & Aarti Kalia, Sunny & Sapna Sharma and Sohail & Nirvka Sharma.

Pandit Dinesh Ji blessed them with holy Mantras. Ayodhya Salwan started off with the traditional Lohri song “Sunder Mundriye” and also sang the “Badhai Geet” for one and all.

Vipan Wadhera also thanked everyone for their generous donations and participation in the Mandir events. Special thanks were given to Mrs Usha Verma Mrs Shubh Sharma and their team for their outstanding efforts in arranging and managing the food and Prasad.

Under the guidance of Pandit Dinesh Kumar, the Lohri bonfire was lighted by President Vipan Wadhera and Chairman Satpal Salwan. All the Board Members joined hands and gathered around the fire to offer prayers, and as the ritual is, to throw Chidwa, Moongphali, Popcorn, Rewari etc into the flames to seek abundance and pray for prosperity from Agni Devta.

Packets of Moongphali, Rewari, Bhugga, Popcorn, Dates were distributed as Prasad, which was relished by all the devotees.

Asian Media USA

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