Lohri celebrated with traditional gaiety, fervor

Artists performing during celebration of Lohri festival at Geeta Bhawan, Parade on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Artists performing during celebration of Lohri festival at Geeta Bhawan, Parade on Sunday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Ganai inaugurates festival, greets people

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Jan 13: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, inaugurated the Lohri Festival with traditional fanfare amid a large gathering of people on the banks of River Tawi, here this evening. The festival marks the beginning of the end of winter season and celebration of arrival of longer days.
Secretary Tourism, Rigzin Samphael, Director Tourism Jammu, O. P. Baghat, CEO Mansar Tourism Development Authority, Nagendra Jamwal and other senior officers of the Tourism Department were present on the occasion.

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In his welcome address, the Advisor urged the Tourism Department to coordinate with tour and travel players of neighbouring states to promote tourism in the Jammu Division, which has a large number of nature spots. He also stressed upon the need to enhance the visibility of leisure resorts like Basohli Lake in Kathua district and other scenic spots of Jammu region to increase the footfall of tourists from states like Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in the coming summer season. “Since very few people are aware about Basohli lake, aggressive marketing is required to launch it as an ideal tourist destination,” he added.
Ganai, who is also in-charge of the Tourism Department, expressed hope that this Lohri heralds a year of peace, brotherhood and faster development in the State. He also hoped that this year will see bumper harvest of crops for the farmers of the State.
In his address, Secretary Tourism described Lohri as a national festival. He also outlined the steps taken by the Department to promote tourism in the State.
Earlier, the artistes of J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages presented a feast of cultural programmes and traditional folk songs which captivated the audience present on the occasion. The Lohri celebrations culminated with the lighting of the bonfire.
Lohri was celebrated in a traditional way at a function at Geeta Bhawan here, in which the Mayor JMC, Chander Mohan Gupta, MLA Jammu East, Rajesh Gupta and other dignitaries were present.
On the occasion traditional dance was performed by the Dogra artists attired in colourful costumes. The function culminated with lighting of bone fire.
On the occasion of Lohri a Chajja competition was organised by Dogra Warrior Manch to revive the age old culture and tradition of Dogra land and Dogras of Jammu.
The New Young Blood Organisation led by Ashok Verma celebrated Lohri with inmates of Old Age Home and distributed fruits and other gifts among them. Dr Rajinder Thapa ex CMO, GMC , Atul Sharma, Sarpanch, Rajroop Singh, Subash Kumar, Raj Kumar , Kuldeep Luthra and Onkar Singh participated in the function.
Like other parts of the state and elsewhere, Lohri was celebrated at Bhadarwah with utmost cheerfulness and grandeur on Sunday.
The main attraction of Lohri in all areas of Bhadarwah was the huge bonfire which was lit in every area and people gathered while singing and dancing around it.
On the occasion number of rituals were also performed by people like throwing of Walnuts, Groundnuts, Sesame Seeds, Rewaris, Popcorns and several other items into the fire. They danced around it as It basically marks the end of the cold winters and welcomed the season of fruitfulness, spring and the New Year(As per the Bikrami Calendar).
People celebrated Lohri as a festival of the Sun God and Fire. On the occasion strong community bond was generated by the people of all communities as they come together, have fun and exchange sweets and greet each other which shows the traditional communal harmony and brotherhood of the area especially in Bhadarwah.
At Bhadarwah, the main function was organized at historic Seri Bazaar, where a huge bonfire was lit and people from all sections of the society came together to celebrate the Lohri festival.
However, to thwart any untoward incident, elaborate security arrangements were made in and around Bhadarwah town.
Lohri festival was celebrated by Sanyog Health Care Private Limited at ‘Aap Ka Dawa Bazaar’ at Airport Road Gadigarh.
On the occasion senior Congress leader and Former Cabinet Minister, Raman Bhalla was the chief guest, while the representatives of Sanyog Health Care Private Limited were also present.