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Hindu Student Organization Hosts Lohri Celebration

By Shloka Chodhari ‘26/The Lawrence 

Lohri is a festival that marks the end of harvest season in Punjab, India. The celebration commemorates the end of the winter and the beginning of the longer days awaiting the upcoming spring. Lohri is celebrated to welcome the sun deity, Surya, into the Northern Hemisphere, and one of the most common traditions includes harvesting rabi crops.

Most commonly, Lohri is celebrated by lighting bonfires, eating food, and spending lots of time singing and dancing. Traditionally, many friends and family come together, exchange sweets, sing, dance, and have fun. The main attraction of the festival is the huge bonfire, where men and women gather together to sing and perform numerous traditional dances, including the famous Bhangra. Lohri also features man different customs and rituals during its celebration. On that auspicious day, mean and women congregate around the bonfire and offer sesame seeds to thank God. They also pray for exemplary health and good karma.

The Hindu Students Organization (HSO) did a tremendous job hosting such events, setting up a bonfire on the Joshua L. Miner Ropes Course on Jan. 31. Students had the chance to throw sesame seeds into a bonfire after thinking of something they would want to change in the future, permitting them to wish for good health and prosperity. The event also included a discussion on the importance of Lohri and why it is celebrated, as many people including Hindu Lawrentians of non-Punjabi origin, needed to be made cognizant of the holiday’s rich history. This event was an excellent opportunity for all Lawrenceville students to discover more about the Hindu faith and traditional holidays.

Celebrating Lohri was a remarkable experience for those who attended. Anushka Chintamaneni ’23 and Sahas Chodhari ’24, avid members of the HSO, spoke on the importance of celebrating Lohri. They said that it was essential for HSO to host this event to shine attention on those holidays that aren’t given much attention, even within the Hindu community. It was also an excellent opportunity for all students, religious or not, to be able to pray for good health and prosperity and father together as a school. Community is an especially important part of Hindu holidays, and celebrations like Lohri help bring us closer together through singing, dancing, and gathering over food.

On the importance of celebrating Lohri at Lawrenceville. Chintamaneni noted how important it was for the HSO to advocate for the Hindu religion on campus. The HSO’s events, including Diwali, Lohri, and Holi, bring people of all different ethnicities together, and help share the love and knowledge that so many of Lawrenceville’s Hindu students have for their traditional celebrations. Additionally, discussing the history and importance of such festivals helps educate more and more people about the Hindu faith.

All in all, celebrating and learning about a new culture are significant aspects of traditions and holidays. Festivals like Lohri help show that community is everything, as these Hindu traditions are all about sharing love and affection.

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.