Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Lohri: Where Sunbeams Kiss Sugarcane, and Sikh Spirit Dances with Fire

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

Tonight, my fellow Punjabis, we gather not just around bonfires, but around a memory carved deep in the soul of our land. Lohri isn’t just about celebrating winter’s retreat. It’s a whispered echo of our Sikh spirit, a fiery testament to the resilience that runs through our veins like sugarcane juice.

We dance Bhangra, not just for joy, but as a warrior’s stomp, remembering the valiant Dulla Bhatti who defied tyranny like a spark in the Punjab darkness. His legend, woven into the tapestry of Lohri, reminds us that our fight for justice burns bright, generation after generation.

The bonfire? It’s not just a symbol of warmth. It’s the crucible where fears and doubts are consumed, leaving behind an unyielding spirit of community. Around its crackle, we share stories of Guru Nanak’s revolutionary message, a message of equality that burns fiercer than any winter chill.

The revri and popcorn we toss into the flames aren’t just offerings. They are seeds of hope, each one whispering a prayer for bountiful harvests and abundant blessings. They remind us of the Sikh farmers who till the land with faith in their hearts, much like those who tilled the fields of Kartarpur Sahib centuries ago.

And amidst the merriment, let us not forget the Lohri bonfires that illuminated the path of brave Sikh families fleeing persecution. Let their flicker remind us of the sacrifices made for our faith, a burning testament to the indomitable spirit that refuses to be extinguished.

Tonight, as we dance around the fire, let our laughter echo not just with revelry, but with the pride of a rich heritage. Let the warmth of the flames rekindle the flame of seva within us, reminding us that our community is built on shared burdens and collective joys.

This Lohri, my friends, is more than a festival. It’s a reunion of hearts, a reaffirmation of our Sikhi. So, let the dholki beat, let the Giddha swirl, and let the flames carry our stories to the stars.

For in the embers of Lohri, we find not just warmth, but the inextinguishable spark of the Punjabi spirit, the unyielding flame of the Sikh soul. Happy Lohri, my brothers and sisters. May your fires burn bright, and your hearts forever dance with the spirit of this sacred night.

Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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