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Lohri Festival Celebrated at Hari Om Mandir

Chicago IL: Unprecedented crowds thronged the Hari Om Mandir, Medinah, IL on Sunday, January 12th to celebrate the vibrant Festival of Lohri! This Festival has always been celebrated in Hari Om Mandir in the Traditional North Indian Style, with the favorite foods, clothing, songs, customs etc. of Punjab. Although the festival fell on Monday – January 13, 2020 but the Mandir Management decided to celebrate on Sunday. Over the years, this Special Program of Hari Om Mandir has gained much popularity, and people come to join from far & wide. This year too, despite the rainy/snowy weather, the Event turned out to be a grand success!!!

The Temple Management, with the help of volunteers and donors, had made adequate arrangements to serve the Special Meal of the Season – Makki Ki Roti, Saag, Lassi and Gur Wale Chawal. Along with this, the traditional items like Bhugga, Popcorn, Rewari, Moongphali, Khajoor and Chirvara were distributed as Prasad.

Another star attraction was a Beautiful Village of Punjab, (Pind in Punjabi), set up to depict the true culture & ambience of this Festival. A Charkha, a Chakki, a Dahi Matki, a Hand Cart full of Peanuts, Rickshaws, A Cart laden with the harvest crop, Manjis, Pirhis…some of the commonly seen items in the streets of a Punjab Village.

Lohri is a celebration of Prosperity, New Beginnings, New Births, Weddings etc. and spreads the joy of the upcoming bright season. After enjoying a sumptuous dinner, people gathered in the Congregation Hall to sing and dance on this auspicious occasion. Mona & Deepak Sharma took the lead, and several others: Usha Verma, Shama Sharma, Veerpal, Pooja, Parveen, Nidhi etc. joined to sing wonderful Punjabi Folk Songs and entertained the people. A Group of young Girls led by Neha Sobti performed the traditional Folk Dance of Punjab – “Giddha”. The energetic Performance was highly appreciated by one and all. This was followed by the “Jaggo” – another traditional ritual of Punjab – All the Ladies of our very own HOM devotees, carrying colorful Pots with lighted Diyas, on their heads, entered the Hall amidst huge clapping & cheering!!! In no time, Men & Women all joined in to dance and the whole atmosphere was charged with energy!!!

House of Spices partnered with Hari Om Mandir this year. They set up a stall in the Mandir Basement to distribute Free Goodies to all the visitors. They were very generous to donate bags full of Snacks items and Frozen Food items to the public, besides donating $1000/- and Makki Ka Atta to the Mandir, on this occasion.

Last but not the least, the Lohri Bonfire was lighted and people gathered around to offer the Prasad items to the Holy God of Fire. As the “Sunder Mundriye” Lohri Song echoed to the beat of Ajay Ghai’s Dhol, everybody – young and old – was seen dancing and enjoying. The Evening concluded on a joyous note…wishing each other “Happy Lohri” and looking forward to a bright future.

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