Lohri, the first festival of the new year 2023, is knocking at our doors again. Preparations and festivities have already begun as we get ready to bid adieu to the harsh winters and welcome the onset of spring with farmers finishing their harvesting.
The Jammu and Kashmir Dogra Sahba along with North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC), Ministry of Culture, took the lead in celebrating the most important festival of north India at Kalagram. A troupe of professional folk dancers and folk singers led by Om Prakash, a household name in the region, presented the region’s most popular dance form of Jammu, Geetru, which turned out to be the showstopper performance of the well-attended Lohri celebrations.
The vibrant dance is performed by both male and female artistes amid the strains of folk musical instruments, including dhol, chimta,bansuri, khanjari and harmonium, creating a typical musical metaphor.
The presentation Haran in local dialect, a prominent folk dance performed on Lohri, brought the poignant tale of Ravana and the elusive hiran (deer) that had enticed Sita, ending up in her kidnapping by Ravana.
Jagranna, another popular folk dance of Jammu, evoked thunderous applause from the cheering crowd.
The sprawling Kalagram open air theatre reverberated with the fascinating folk tunes of Jammu, the land of the spirited dogras. Scintillating folk dances and folk songs of the region presented by prominent artistes in the typical dogri folk tradition kept the audience hooked for hours.
The former deputy chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Dr Nirmal Singh, who was the chief guest on the occasion, formally inaugurated the mega event by lighting the traditional lamp.
An organ donation camp under the supervision of a team of experts from PGIMER was also held to sensitise people on the great humanitarian gesture of saving lives.
The celebrations culminated with the lighting of the bonfire and distribution of‘gachak-revri-moongfli followed by a community kitchen offering a fare of typical dogri cuisines that the foodies relished to their heart’s content.
The Sabha President, S K Sharma, presented a vote of thanks to the guests present on the occasion.