Impressive procession, cultural events mark Lohri celebrations

Nat Manch artists performing Dhandiya during Lohri procession in Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Nat Manch artists performing Dhandiya during Lohri procession in Jammu. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 12: On the eve of Lohri Festival, various functions were organized across Jammu region, besides a procession from Mubarak Mandi to Shri Raghunath Temple.
To celebrate the Festival, Dogra Swabhimaan Sangathan (DSS) organized a simple and impressive function in which families and friends of all the office bearers, members of central working committees, CWC and frontal organizations participated.
Choudhary Lal Singh along with his family including his wife Ex-MLA Kanta Andotra greeted all the members of the DSS in particular and the whole Dogra community in general. The program started with the burning wood crackles and distributing ‘Gur’ and peanuts to all the office bearers.
While addressing the gathering, Lal Singh said that this festival symbolizes that the seeds that lay dormant for the want of heat, now sprout forthwith. Similarly this year is going to be the year of Dogras and all sorts of maltreatment and discrimination will come to an end and a new era: an era of prosperity, justice for all, and above all, equal opportunities both to the weaker and the stronger shall be there. He also greeted the veterans on the eve of Veterans Day, falling on 14 Jan, and wished them and their families’ happiness and good health.
In its efforts to revive the disappearing Dogra cultural ethos, Team Jammu along with Jammu Heritiage Society and Jammu Dogra Warriors today organized impressive Lohri procession to educate the younger generation about age old traditions of Jammu region.
Team Jammu along with other organizations and with the involvement of youth, elderly and prominent people organized a Lohri procession, that started from historical Mubarak Mandi complex-seat of erstwhile Dogra rulers and culminated at the world famous Shri Raghunath Temple before passing through different routes of the city including Chowk Chabutra, Jain Bazar, Link Road, Purani Mandi, Center Basic School Road, Old Hospital Road, Super Bazaar, City Chowk, Kanak Mandi and Rajinder Bazar.
In Dogra attires, hundreds of youth, children and elderly, who participated in the procession, reminded the elders of Maharaja’s days when such dresses were wore by one and all. Route of the procession was especially decorated with buntings, flowers and banners.
Various shopkeeper associations, from Mubarak Mandi to Raghunath Bazar had set up stalls of water, juice, fruits and dry fruits to welcome the participants who were beating dhols and singing traditional Dogri songs. People welcomed the procession including Nat Manch artists and school children performing Dhandiya at several places by showering flower petals.
The historical event was organized to revive the old tradition when erstwhile Dogra rulers used to celebrate Lohri in similar way by taking out a procession from Mubarak Mandi. Memory of Maharaja Hari Singh’s time was refreshed in the mind of elderly people of the walled city when Lohri procession passed through their localities.
While culminating the procession outside Shri Raghunath ji Temple by lighting firewood and jointly performing ‘Argg’ with recitation of ‘Gayatri Mantra” by one and all, the speakers including, Chairman of Team Jammu, Zorawar Singh Jamwal, president, Jammu Heritage Society, Bhuvneshwar Gandtora, chairman, Jammu Dogra Warriors, Varun Magotra and cultural wing head of Team Jammu and noted Dogri poet, Thakura Randheer Singh Raipuria, stated that aim of today’s event is to educate younger generation about our cultural festivals like Lohri.
Folk group dancers including Dhani Ram from Dansal and Raj Kumar from Bajalta exhibited spell bound performances that earned applauses from city residents and even tourists from Kashmir valley and other states of the country. A ‘Chhaja’ making competition was also organized on the occasion.
Convener of Vishav Kashmiri Samaj and former Commissioner, JMC, Kiran Wattal along with number of KP youths and elderly also participated in the event and wished people on the eve of Lohri.
To celebrate the Lohri Festival, JKAACL sub-office Kathua organized a unique programme at the historical Fort of Samba. Vikas Gupta, Additional Deputy Commissioner Samba was the chief guest whereas Dr Koushal Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Samba was the guest of honour on the occasion.
The programme started with the vibrant singing of C S Kattal who made everyone spellbound with his singing. This was followed by the mesmerizing performances of Prem Singh, Mohinder Kumar and Sonia Dogra & Party who gave the performances of Dogri Folk dance, Jagarna and Dogri Folk. The major attraction of the programme was the performance of Hern by Rajkumar and party & Suhaag by Suman Lata and Party.