Bonfires & Kites!

Last night, I attended my first Lohri celebration πŸ™‚ Lohri is how the Punjabi community celebrates the winter solstice. It is twinned with Makar Sankranti – a day that heralds the arrival of Spring and the transition of the Sun into Capricorn. Whatever the religious and cultural significance – it doesn’t really matter to me. Every festival in India is a riot of colour, a cacophony of sound and a photo-op made in heaven πŸ˜‰ Lohri last night and Sankranti this morning were no different!

Lohri was celebrated last night with characteristic Punjabi aplomb! Bhangra beats filled the air, the crowds lined up to gorge on the yummy eats (chole bhature to die for!), children of all ages lit floating lanterns, and when the Bonfire was lit – it was time to circle it, make a wish perhaps, and dance! There’s an exuberance to a community celebration that is quite unmatched by any private party, no matter how jolly. It’s as if the positive vibes multiply and ensconce all those present in a happy bubble – so that for a while – All is Well. Troubles are Forgotten. Life is Good πŸ™‚

Today is Makar Sankranti – and for whatever reason is celebrated in my home state of Goa and neighbouring Maharashtra and probably in many others – by flying kites. Yeah! Go Figure! We had already bought a kite last night for Junior, and so armed with it, we made our way down to the playground where hundreds of people had gathered for some major kite-flying action! Never mind that we had neglected to buy a spool πŸ˜› Never mind that all of us were kite-flying dummies! Never mind that we were trying to fly the kite with some sewing thread that we tied randomly to it, with utter disregard for the physics of flying πŸ˜‰ IT WAS FUN πŸ˜€ Junior held the kite and the spool alternately trying to make it rise into the air, catch the current – fly! We got it a few feet off the ground for a few seconds at a time and we were so excited you’d think we’d made it to the moon πŸ˜‰ It’s a wonderful feeling – trying something new, having no expectations, just letting go!

And I got more pictures – not quite a Skyful of Kites that I was hoping for, but enough to make this 1 minute film that i’m sharing below! I’m really impressed with iPhoto – my yearning for Adobe Lightroom has all but disappeared! It was a piece of cake, making the slideshow and turning it into a movie. It even told me how long my music piece to go with should be! I see many long, happy hours of experimentation ahead πŸ™‚

And so let me with you all a Very Happy Lohri, A Very Happy Sankranti! May this Spring be a beautiful harbinger to a fruitful Summer!

Happiness Always People πŸ™‚


6 thoughts on “Bonfires & Kites!

  1. Looks like an utterly fantastic celebration (or set of celebrations). I’d have to gauge the number of people to determine if I’d feel comfortable (there’s some kind of happy medium in my brain – too few or too many means I stay away), but I would love to partake in the music and food. Especially that bread. Mmmmm.
    There is nothing better than deciding you’re going to do something, realizing that you have no idea how, and doing it anyway. Perhaps that’s the precise origins of the phrase “Go fly a kite.”
    What did you do in iPhoto to get the background on your slideshow?

    1. It was rather Heather πŸ™‚ But if crowds keep you away, then Indian festivals will be tough! My family functions of people defined as ‘close’ tallies up to 75 or so πŸ˜‰ There’s a lot of energy and noise and it can all get a bit overbearing…but it does have a positive vibe that while it lasts is pretty darn cool πŸ™‚ And yes the food is to die for! Do you have any Indian restaurants near by? The bread will not be anything like what we had here…but it’s still worth a shot. Just the kind of thing to keep you warm in this very cold winter you’re having.

      You are so right…perhaps that’s where it all began! iPhoto has a Vintage option in the Themes section of its Slideshows…that’s the one I picked. Did you like it? I thought it was cool! B&W is a favourite πŸ™‚

      1. As long as the energy is good πŸ™‚ I like happiness over drunkenness any day of the week!
        Unfortunately, even though this little part of the globe has an excellent food scene, we do not have good Indian options. So disappointing, because not too far downstate (4 hours’ drive) there are lots of places. And we stop at a favorite place on our way to visit family in Ohio sometimes. But no, the bread is not what you’ve pictured. Probably for the best, considering it was fried πŸ™‚
        Loved the video! And I particularly liked the blend of the B&W background with the kite-flying fun!

  2. Hi Harsha, Happy happy January festivals to you too! My my, you have been busy. I think I need to spend some quality time with you to get my rusty brain oiled…iPhoto, bread making and the works.. Shall call you soon. Love and hugs

    1. I have been Usha! But routine is setting in quickly now πŸ˜‰ It was wonderful talking to you after ages πŸ™‚ Will share the links as promised asap. Off to lunch now with Meera πŸ™‚

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