Residents Welfare Associations (RWAs) of Gurgaon have started their preparations for Lohri, which is just around the corner.
Essentially a harvest festival of the hinterland of Punjab, Lohri is synonymous with the fresh harvest of sugarcane and other winter crops. The day after Lohri marks the beginning of a new financial year for farmers.
Today the festival is not restricted to the Hindu and Sikh community alone. People from different communities and faiths huddle around the community bonfires that mark the Lohri celebrations. Song and dance recitals are also intrinsic to the celebrations.
For RWAs, Lohri translates to a great opportunity to bring the community people together. Little wonder then that they embark upon preparations with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Yashesh Yadav, RWA President of Mahindra Aura situated in Sector 110/A says, “Like always we shall celebrate Lohri in our society's amphitheatre. The celebrations shall start around 7 pm. People will play the traditional Dhol and the ladies shall perform Gidda, a traditional folk dance of Punjab. People will partake groundnut and rewari while immersing themselves in the festive spirit."
In Gurgaon there are some societies and condominiums that strive to bring a more contemporary touch to the celebrations. They thereby replace the traditional instruments with live bands and DJs who belt out racy numbers.
Fresco Condominium in Sector 50 is a case in point. This year the RWA plans to arrange for a dance floor too.
Nilesh Tandon, RWA President of Fresco said, “We will arrange for peanuts and gajjak for people to munch on as they enjoy the music, that promises to be pulsating."
Residents too have their own plans. Some residents of Uppal Southend located in Sector 49 are planning a karaoke night around a bonfire. They have planned for a potluck dinner too.
The excitement was evident in the words of a resident who says, “We only want to enjoy good food and sing melodious songs around the bonfire. It will be the most desirable way to celebrate Lohri”