The winter solstice traditions of all areas of India nourish body, mind & soul with great food, joyful movement, and spiritual introspection. Radha Krishna Temple’s celebrations in Allen, Texas were no different.
Despite the biting cold weather and wind, quite a large crowd gathered outside at sunset this past Sunday to celebrate Lohri with great fanfare. Volunteers set up a fire pit and decorated it with beautiful flowers. They added rangolis made from flower petals and numerous decorated kalash in a ring around the fire pit.
Beyond the joyful revelry, the auspicious outdoor fire ceremony invoked the powerful energy of regeneration, renewal and inner reflection. The ceremonies began with mantras and puja in gratitude for the sun and the coming harvest. This type of festival reminds us not to take for granted what we have in life. When we celebrate Lohri, our festivities and traditions lead us to take time out to appreciate one of God’s abundant graces – the sun — on which we depend so much.
The rhythmic dancing and beat of the dhol inspired by the rhythmic cycles of nature intensify the joyful mood of celebration, First everyone circled the fire and made their offerings. Later they carried the vigorous dancing and beats of dhol over to Seva Kunj Hall.
Once the dancing ended, everyone was eager to try out the delicious Punjabi festival buffet, The festival menu included treats prepared in Yugal Kunj of makke ki roti, besan kadhi, sarson ka saag, not to mention irresistable sweet dishes.
On the next day, Monday, many gathered at Radha Krishna Temple to celebrate Makar Sankranti with surya namaskar yoga in the morning, After the sun salutations envigorated everyone physically, the rituals in the prayer hall provided some time for internal reflection. By performing the auspicious surya puja, we honored not only the ever bright sun in the sky but the eternal Sun that sits within us and sparks our souls.
Radha Krishna Temple wishes you blessings of this auspicious time. May your life be filled with the season’s ever increasing light of inspiration and your heart with the growing fire of devotion!
At the end of this article we have shared a short video of some memorable glimpses below of how joyfully we all can celebrate together. Please also visit Radha Krishna Temple’s Facebook page for more memories.
Click here to see how Radha Krishna Temple celebrated Lohri 2019 in Allen