The Indo-Canadian community around the globe celebrates a number of its special days including Lohri with a great deal of enthusiasm. Lohri is a cultural celebration mainly celebrated in the Punjab and by Punjabis around the globe.
Originally, it was celebrated on the winter solstice, being the shortest day and the longest night of the year. However, it gradually shifted towards early January to coincide with the beginning of the harvesting of sugarcane crop. The old tradition still continues in the Punjab. However, overseas, Punjabis have modified it greatly.
For example in Canada, in view of the foeticides, and as a symbol of equality between boys and girls, it is considered as a major celebration for the community.
The individuals and organizations working for the noble task of equality must be commended for their efforts in this regard. Every child, whether it is a boy or a girl is a gift from God and his/her birth must be celebrated with equal enthusiasm. During this week there have been a lot of celebrations in this regard. Same was true for India Cultural Centre of Canada’s Gurdwara Nanak Niwas (#5 Road) in Richmond.
Monday, January 13 was the official day for Lohri. At Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, a number of volunteers, including a large number of dedicated women closely associated with the Gurdwara, started getting ready for Lohri a few days earlier.
As the day arrived, these enthusiastic volunteers got busy preparing langar for the congregation. Eight families, who were blessed with newborn babies-boys and girls and two newly- wed couples joined in the celebration by making generous financial donations. It was great to see a very large number of people join in the celebration on January 13. It looked like a festival atmosphere all around the Gurdwara.
Here is a list of the newborn children who were the stars of the celebration at the Gurdwara: Arjun Singh Sidhu, Logan Singh Bhinder,Munro Resham Kaur Nagra,Amaya Kaur Liddar, Saavin Singh Sandhu ,Dylan Singh Rai, Theo and Roman Sihota and Anika Sharma.In addition to that, Parmjit Singh Rai and Love Preet Kaur Rai as well as Harvinder Singh Sidhu and Aikam Jit Kaur Sidhu celebrated their first wedding anniversary.
The Kirtani Jatha enchanted the congregation with their melodious kirtan and recitation of the Gurbani. After the kirtan, the congregation savoured delicious vegetarian langar and then enjoyed the bonfire (Dhooni) at the back of the Gurdwara premises.
On behalf of the Gurdwara Management Committee, India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas President Balbir Singh Jawanda and Secretary Balwant Singh Sanghera congratulated the families of the newborns and newlyweds. They also thanked all of the volunteers, the ladies who helped member of the congregation and the participating families for making the Lohri celebration such a great success.