New year, new goals, new blogs! So excited to be starting the blog year with a personal one for our family – The Lohri Party for my beautiful baby boy. Let’s begin with what is a Lohri Party and then we can go through how we decided to celebrate this milestone/celebration.
Family Background: My husband is Punjabi, Sikh born here in Canada. I am French Canadian also born here. Sohan’s parents were born in India and moved to Canada in the 1970s. The Lohri Festival/Party is by far one of my favorite Punjabi traditions and there are a lot! Haven’t you ever heard, “There ain’t no party like a Punjabi Party!”
Lohri Party: According to WIKIPEDIA, it is a popular Punjabi winter folk festival celebrated primarily in the Punjab region. It is believed by many that the festival commemorates the passing of the winter solstice. Lohri falls in the month of Paush and is set by the solar part of the lunisolar Punjabi calendar and in most years it falls around 13 January of the Gregorian calendar. As a part of Lohri celebrations, the children go around to homes singing the traditional folk songs of Lohri and after the song ends, the adults of the homes are expected to give sweets, savories and money to the singing troupe of youngsters. Where families are welcoming newly-weds and newborns, the requests for treats increase. The lighting of the bonfire during this winter festival is an ancient tradition. For some, throwing food into the fire represents the burning of the old year and the start of the next year. The bonfire is lit at sunset in the main village square. People toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries on the bonfire, sit around it, sing and dance till the fire dies out.
In houses that have recently had a marriage or childbirth, Lohri celebrations will reach a higher pitch of excitement. Punjabis usually have private Lohri celebrations, in their houses. Lohri rituals are performed, with the accompaniment of special Lohri songs.
Singing and dancing form an intrinsic part of the celebrations. People wear their brightest clothes and come to dance the bhangra and gidda to the beat of the dhol. Punjabi songs are sung, and everybody rejoices.
DESIGN STORY: In most of the photos I was seeing, people celebrated Lohri at Dusk. The color palette consisted of NAVY to represent that dark sky and a couple of different shades of ORANGE/GOLD to represent the light of the fire and lights in the evening. As usual, I like to incorporate fun, so I added stars and a little bit of green just like you would see during an evening in India. My idea was to create a setting where my mother in law would feel like she was back in India around a fire singing with the ladies. Check it out!
ENTERTAINMENT: We are so fortunate to have a musically inclined family (well on the Punjabi side). My mother in law often leads the Gidda’s with traditional folk songs. My brother in law is an amazing DJ and is a very talented Dhol Player. My sister in law is the Bhangra queen. My husband, well he’s the party monster, and I love to put on a party… So it works!
SWEETS + SNACKS: The collections gathered by the children are known as Lohri and consist of til, gachchak, crystal sugar, gur (jaggery), moongphali (peanuts) and phuliya or popcorn so we decided to offer some of those traditional sweets as a farewell gift and had a POPCORN BAR (with a bunch of different flavours) that was a big hit with the kids and the adults!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Charmaine Mallari
VENUE: Charisma Restaurant
DRAPING + LINENS + STARS: Dream Day Decorators
PROPS MOON + FIRE + BOULDERS: Creating a Scene
POPCORN: Kernels Pop Corn
DJ + LIGHTING: Aman Jammu
LOHRI SIGN: Laser All the Things