Canada

Punjabi community celebrates Lohri across Canada

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Family, friends, and loved ones are gathering together to welcome the new harvest season also known as the festival of Lohri on January 14th 2024.

The festival gathers families around a bonfire, celebrating the joyous day with traditional Punjabi folk dance and songs as well as the opportunity to eat delicious food. Lohri is an ancient celebration from the Punjab region of India, where Sikhs and Hindus gathered together to celebrate the harvest season.

According to Professor and author Harinder Kaur Sohi who is also a well-known author and community activist, Lohri was not always a celebration of a new season. “Lohri was a celebration of a boy’s birth. Those families who welcome a new baby boy, celebrate Lohri. As the birth of a new son was important to carry on the family lineage.” said Sohi. However, she adds, “as times have changed, many families celebrate Lohri as a celebration of life, whether a new daughter or son is born.”

Many South Asian businesses have been preparing for Lohri, ahead of the festival.

Fruiticana President Tony Singh says preparation for the event usually starts months ahead. “We often think about where to source various foods from peanuts to sugarcane and how we can stock up for the busy season ahead,” said Singh. Singh also notes the importance of food such as saag, a dish made of mixed greens and makki di roti , a flat bread made from corn flour.

Although, some may choose to serve these dishes at their respective homes. Others look towards bigger venues to celebrate Lohri.

Kultarjit Singh Thiara, the owner of Taj Park Banquet venue, says that the Lohri celebrations are great news for their business as Lohri parties are often celebrated in large banquet halls and event venues. “Lohri celebrations are great business, but the economy is a bit slow for us venue owners trying to navigate the recent inflation,” said Thiara. 

Nevertheless, Lohri is a time where family and friends dress up in colourful clothing and celebrate the new season with an abundance of songs, dance and food.


With files from Dilbar Kang. 

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