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Spirit of Lohri

Dearest friends, I have been missing blogging like a fish probably misses water after being caught [I am assuming :P] but family, festivals, weddings and slow internet connections do not make it any easier for me to blog and post pictures lately *sad.face*. Also, I do not have access to my husband's 100% attention and time to indulge in photography (him) and modeling (me), like we do back in Texas. But I do have a load of outfits to share with you (two for each day. Imagine!). Nonetheless, today I have asked another of my blog-world's-awesome-friend - Gagan to fill in for me and just-in-time to spread the spirit of Lohri, another one of the Indian festivals which is coming up... 

Hello, "The fabulous life of..." readers! I'm Gagan, author of the blog "Of Peacocks and Paisleys" and I'm here to get the party going!  

Are you feeling a void post-Diwali-Christmas-New year festivities? Fear not, for if you're Indian there's still plenty of reason to celebrate!! Lohri, which was historically said to be celebrated on the eve of winter solstice, is celebrated with bonhomie on the 14th of January (which, though technically not the the eve of winter solstice, is almost always what feels like the coldest day of the year). Which also means that the days after Lohri are (marginally) warmer and it, in turn, heralds the arrival of spring. Residents of India will attest to the beauty of the season as the nation's gardens bloom with flowers and lawns grow lush and green as spring breaks into its annual dance of colors. The festival also serves as a time to offer thanks and prayers for a successful harvest season. Several other festivals, from various regions of India mark this turn of season, most notably Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Magh Bihu, Uttarayan, etc. A festival of Punjab, Lohri is celebrated in most northern states of India. The winter nip in the air (and dense fog if you're in Delhi, LOL!) begs to be celebrated with cups of ginger tea and roasted peanuts, fresh popcorn and a bonfire to warm those toes! Til and gur (sesame seeds and jaggery) are a must for any lohri celebration and are the ingredients for the signature hard candy called rewari...



Via.

Now if you live in India/ a region of the world not covered in a blanket of snow in january, consider yourself lucky and proceed to have your bonfire and gidda in the front yard....get that bonfire going and see all your neighbors pop in for a rollicking god time!!!! However, if you live in areas where the first daffodils don't emerge till April, forget about hosting a big outdoor extravaganza! Your best bet would be to host a tea (huh? why tea? days are real short in the Northern hemisphere, ergo, sunset is usually at five!)--- or dinner party (if you're up to cooking up a storm!), having mood music (bollywood bhangra anyone?), bowls of munchies scattered throughout for your guests to keep their energy levels up! Don't worry about starving guests--these snacks are packed with high energy calories and will keep them going through the festivities.....



Via.

Set the mood with: Some peppy music** in the background, get that fireplace going in lieu of a bonfire! Bring out those reds, those yellows those greens---we love color!



Things to serve: In-shell peanuts, rewari (readily available at your local Indian grocery!), fresh popcorn (air popped/make it in the pan--m/w popcorn is like a heart attack in a bag!), hot ginger tea, some allo chaat, other finger foods...





The best option for a dinner party would be makki di roti accompanied with sarson da saag. End it all with some gajar ka halwa....


Other ways to make it memorable: Make sure you dress in your festive best, but also make sure you're dressed to get up and booooogie, for once those beats start, you won't want to just sit and look pretty! Lohri is all about fun and gaiety......let your hair down, put away your crystal and fine china, let the kids run loose, turn up the volume (or if you have singers in the crowd, let them shine), add plenty of laughter and keep the chai coming! Don't forget to hand your guests paper-cones filled with peanuts and rewari as shagan (throw in some coins for the kids). 




Happy Lohri!

**Da music: You can't go wrong with traditional music, but in case you feel the need to jazz it up a bit, I love this band's funky fusion sound.
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