Girl child in focus as Punjab, Haryana celebrate Lohri
Chandigarh : Celebrations for the girl child were in focus across Punjab and Haryana and their joint capital Chandigarh Sunday as the north Indian states revelled in the festive spirit of Lohri.
Marking the harvest of winter crops, Lohri is a festival that celebrates prosperity.
In a region where the festival is generally celebrated by families to mark the birth of a newborn son, the change this year has been celebrations for newborn girls as well.
From the border district of Tarn Taran near Amritsar, where a social organisation got together several families blessed with newborn girls to celebrate the festival, to Bhiwani in the Jat heartland of Haryana, Lohri celebrations for even newborn girls were reported Sunday.
Both states have a skewed sex ratio of around 800 females per 1,000 males.
Families and friends got together around big bonfires of wooden logs to celebrate Lohri in the warmth of the fire in an otherwise freezing weather outdoors.
"The chill has increased over the last couple of days and that has made sitting near the bonfire more soothing," said homemaker Renuka Manchanda in Chandigarh.
Bonfires could be seen in various residential localities across towns and cities in Punjab and Haryana and the union territory of Chandigarh.
Hostel residents of the Panjab University campus gathered in their hostel grounds Sunday evening to celebrate the festival to the beat of DJs playing loudly in the background.
"It is so much fun and enjoyment. It is good to see that people this year are also celebrating the Lohri festival to celebrate the arrival of newborn girls," pointed out Panjab University's mass communication students Sanghmitra. Jaspreet Virk backed her.
Lohri sweets like rewri and gachak as well as groundnuts were being distributed in abundance.
Festivities in some places were held even on Friday and Saturday in educational institutions as these closed for the weekend.