Chicago IL: This year also Lohri was celebrated with great fanfare at Hari Om Mandir located at 6 North 20 Medinah Road, Medinah, IL on Wednesday, January 13, 2016. The cold and snowy weather did not deter the attendance & excitement of the devotees, who thronged the Temple in large numbers – “House Full”!!! 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 Special Events Team led by Jeetu Patel and Aarti Singla created a virtual village home from Punjab….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 the costumes like Kurtis, Jackets & Pagris hanging in the backdrop…..ALL added to the ambience & mood of the Festival. Lohri is a time to enjoy the foods of the cold weather and look forward to a bountiful harvest in the coming season. The farmers and people in general thank God for His countless blessings and pray for a prosperous future.
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 either….Tushar Sharma along with Sahil Butani & Arjun Vyas did Bhangra. Several ladies from the congregation joined the two young Brides – Amrit Salwan, Nirvka Sharma, who led the Jago team – special Pot (Gaggar with lighted lamps/candles) and ABOVE ALL, the beat of the DHOL by our very own Ajay Ghai set the mood, and very soon everybody joined to dance their hearts out on Punjabi Boliyan – sung by Mr. Deepak Sharma, Mr. Subhash Sharma & Mr. Atwal.
Mr. Satpal Salwan, Chairman Board of Trustees wished everybody a Happy Lohri. Mr. Vipan Wadhera, President Executive Board greeted everybody on this auspicious occasion and congratulated all the new born babies, newlyweds on the First Lohri occasion. He also gave special Lohri Wishes to the newly wed couples of the Hari Om Parivar – Manish & Amrit Salwan, Chandan & Aarti Kalia, Sunny & Sapna Sharma and Sohail & Nirvka Sharma and requested Pandit Dinesh Ji to bless them with holy Mantras. Mr. Ayodhya Salwan started off with the traditional Lohri Song “Sunder Mundriye” and also sang the “Badhai Geet” for one & all.
Mr. Vipan Wadhera also thanked everyone for their generous donations and participation in the Mandir Events. Special thanks to Mrs. Usha Verma & Mrs. Shubh Sharma and their team for their outstanding efforts in arranging & managing the Food & Prasad. Kudos to Mr. Anil Saxena and his team for doing an excellent job in handling the traffic & parking for almost a 1000 people who attended the function.
Finally, under the guidance of Pandit Dinesh Kumar, the Lohri Bonfire was lighted by the President Vipan Wadhera & 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, pray for prosperity from Agni Devta. Once again the Dhol Beat started and people sang and danced with joy to make merry on the cold night.
Packets of Moongphali, Rewari, Bhugga, Popcorn, Dates were distributed as Prasad, which was relished by all the devotees!
Source: Asian Media USA
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