Lohri-Sankrati celebrations attract hundreds

Devotees participate in Lohri Puja
Lorhi festival 1
Devotees participate in Lohri Puja

CHICAGO: Lohri and Makar Sankranti were celebrated at Hindu Mandir of Lake County with lot of exuberance and devotion. The mood of the devotees was upbeat who were totally absorbed in the festive spirit of Lohri and Sankranti.

An exciting event kicked off with “Lohri Poojan” on Saturday evening, January 13. Pt. Anil Joshi along with temple priest Yogesh performed Ma Bhagavati Pujan in the form of Ma Jwala Devi with full devotion and prayers. Devotees with drum beaters and procession carried all the Puja and Prasad Samagris on their heads to the temple ground. Pt. Joshi performed the Puja of ‘Dhooni’/Bonfire with traditional rituals. Devotees sang Lohri songs immersed in rich folklore culture of Punjab and took part in the celebration enthusiastically. They all danced around the holy bonfire and offered their prayers for the peace and prosperity of the community, nation and the universe.

Groundnuts and sweets were distributed among the devotees as Ma Jwala Devi Prasad and sponsors were given Chunnis of Ma in the form of Prasad. New born babies and newly married couples were blessed on this occasion.

Ma Jwala devi Pt Joshi
Pt Joshi and devotees worship Ma Bhagvati

Lohri festival will be incomplete without singing and dancing. So, Punjabi singing and dancing were performed in the auditorium by the devotees and children. Later, Pt. Joshi highlighted the importance of the festival of Lohri, which ushers the cheerful spring season bidding goodbye to the dull winter.
He said that Lohri is the harvest festival of Punjab. It is also celebrated as the festival of national integration through their feasts and foods that were made from the foods grown in other states. Makki (corn), peanuts, sesame are not grown on Punjab but in the surrounding states. Lohri festival prompts people to be thankful to our God’s nourishments and to celebrate his creations, and focus on farming and sharing.

All the priests offered their blessings to the devotees for their well being. Devotees enjoyed Shri Manoj Bhat’s drum beating and danced in fullest festive essence. Temple committee member Shri Shami Dhall proposed thanks to the devotees and volunteers for their help and services. The temple arranged the traditional food of Punjab prepared by Smt Prameela Dutta and Kamal Gupta as the Maha Prasad of the festival. Makki ki Roti with delicious Sarson Ka Saag were served to all the devotees as the main items of the Prasad.

Next day on Sunday January 14 from morning to noon the temple celebrated Makar Sankranti. In the morning, priests along with many devotees performed the puja of Sun-God and Shani Deva very vibrantly and made offerings. Pt. Joshi in his brief discourse said that Makar Sankranti defines the movement of the Sun to the sphere of Makara and marks the beginning of warmer and longer days as compared to nights. Makar Sankranti is all about forgetting bitter and sad moments which happened in the past and welcoming the new phase of life which is full of purity, knowledge, and wisdom.

Ma Puja by Pt anilDevotees offered with great reverence lots of grains, fruits and vegetables in their Danam to get the best blessings of both Surya and Shani Dev who are father and son in relation. God Surya enters his son’s Rashi, that is Makar, according to Panchanga and Astrology. That is why this Sankranti is the most auspicious Sankranti of the year. The Temple Committee offered thanks to all the devotees and volunteers for their dedicated services to the temple.


Geetha Patil

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