For newly weds Varun Pahwa and Shruti, the Punjab Association’s Lohri mela was their first community celebration as a couple.

“It was fun. We went around the bonfire and threw raw groundnuts into the fire, praying for good times ahead,” said Varun.

Lohri signals the end of winter and falls on January 13, this year.

On Sunday, around 500 families came together at Anna Adarsh college grounds in Anna Nagar to celebrate Lohri with music and good Punjabi food.

Punjab Association general secretary, Ramesh Lamba, said, for couples, the first Lohri after their wedding, or a child’s first Lohri is a special time for families.

“Apart from offering an opportunity to members of the community to meet and bond, the mela is also a place where families meet prospective brides or grooms. Several weddings have been fixed here,” he said.

The evening began with a bonfire after which a music show by ‘Rocking Jatt’ Channi Masthana rocked the grounds. Children were seen dancing and requesting fast numbers till as late as 10.30 p.m. when the curtains came down on the event.

The food at the mela is yet another draw for the Punjabis in the city. Amandeep Singh Kandhari, member of cultural committee, Punjab Association, said the spread featured over 50 dishes including sarson da saag and makki di roti.

“If there is one dish most Punjabis miss, it is makkhi di roti. We do not get that variety of corn here,” he said.

“The mere thought of the mouth-watering kulcha and chana chole, aloo tikki, paneer masala, dum biriyani, kulfi, and revdi — a sweet made from sugar, white gingelly seeds and rose essence — makes you eagerly await yet another Lohri,” said Mr. Kandhari.

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