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The festival of Lohri falls on 13 January, a day before Makar Sankranti (another Hindu festival) when the sun enters into the new sign. It is a popular harvest festival celebrated in the Northern part of India, mainly in Punjab and Haryana. Harvest time for wheat, the main winter crop, starts after the celebration of Lohri. It marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of a new season for the farmers.
More than a festival; Lohri is a day for thanksgiving. Apart from Punjab and Haryana, people from other states have also started participating in the festivity. On this day, people show their gratitude to God for his provisions, care, protection and blessings.
The day begins with Lohri songs full of gratitude for God and ‘Dulla Bhatti’, a legendary hero. Dulla Bhatti, a Muslim highway robber, who robbed rich and helped the poor, is the central character of Lohri songs. On this day, children go door to door in the neighbourhood to accept money and food items as gifts. In the afternoon, people prepare a feast for the day, in the evening, people wear new clothes and they gather around huge bonfire which is lit in the harvested fields or in the front yard of their houses. They go around the bonfire thrice and present peanuts, rewari, puffed rice, butter, sesame seeds and popcorns as offerings to the God. They pray to God to bless the land with abundant crop and everyone with prosperity. After prayer, people meet friends and relatives to exchange gifts and greetings and distribute Prasad. During night, men and women sing songs, perform on the folk dances-Bhangra and Giddha with the beats of dhol. Later, they sit around the bonfire and serve the feast of sarson-ka-saag, makki-di-roti and dessert “rau-di-kheer”.
How to celebrate the festival with your children at home:
So, celebrate this festival of prosperity, joy and sharing with your children in a way that they always remember its importance throughout their lives.
The word “Christmas” means “Christ’s Mass”. Christmas Day or X-Mas Day is celebrated on the 25th of December across the world to mark the birth of Jesus Christ, the founder of the Christianity religion. Baby Jesus and Mary mother of Jesus are the central figures of the Christmas story. Luke’s biography of Jesus records how Mary and her betrothed husband Joseph left their home in Nazareth to travel to Joseph’s ancestral home, Bethlehem. Finding no place to stay in the town, Mary gave birth to Jesus in the primitive lodgings of an animal stable, referred to as Jesus manger. Jesus and Mary were visited by shepherds and wise men who travelled long distances to witness Jesus born and greet Jesus mother. It is the most sacred and auspicious festival of the Christian community. Lord Jesus was the messiah of mankind and his message of love, peace and harmony is quite significant. Some of the most popular Christmas traditions are the Christmas tree (the pine tree), Santa Claus and Christmas gifts. The tradition of giving gifts has a great significance in the celebrations of Christmas, as it is believed that Lord Jesus himself used to give away presents. The occasion is all about giving and sharing gifts and presents with each other.
On the Christmas day, people make special preparations. Every individual indulges in making the preparations on this special occasion. The most important part of this festival is planting the Christmas tree in one corner of the house. Once it is planted, its branches are decorated with Christmas tree ornaments such as dolls, birds, flowers etc. At night, the Christmas tree is illuminated with electric bulbs. Following the decorations, all the family and friends gather to offer prayers to the God who sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to remove all the sins and sufferings. They all sing along Christmas carols & jingle and make merry.
How to celebrate Christmas at home?
- Dress up your children in new clothes and offer the prayers at the Church. Attend the midnight mass on the Christmas Eve.
- To keep up the celebration mood in full swing, invite your friends and relatives at your place, to celebrate the festival of Christmas together.
- Light up your home with bright and colourful Christmas lights.
- Keep the little ones engaged in decorating the Christmas tree with ornaments, ribbons and lights.
- Sing the Christmas carols such as “Jingle bell jingle bell”, “Joy to the world”, “Silent night” etc. along with your children.
- Involve your children to prepare the Christmas cake with you.
- Tell your children to keep their best socks/stockings under their pillows, to receive presents from the Santa Claus. Present your children with their favourite game or toy. Keep the present in their socks/stockings on the Christmas Eve.
Since the festival is round the corner, so, use the tips give above to celebrate Christmas day with your friends and family with pomp and show.
Children’s day is an event which is celebrated all over India, on 14th November and is referred to as “Bal Diwas” in Hindi. 14th November is the birth date of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of Independent India. It is believed that there are two reasons behind choosing 14th November, the birth anniversary of Pandit Nehru as the date for celebrating Children’s Day in India. The prime reason was to honour Pandit Nehru’s love for children. After becoming the Prime Minister of independent India, he showed keen interest towards the development and welfare of children. Due to his passion for the work related to children, he became quite popular amongst children and his little admirers called him “Chacha Nehru”. Pandit Nehru was extremely fond of children, so, he used to spend his leisurely hours in playing with children and telling them stories. The other reason was because Pandit Nehru is considered to be a special child of our country, for becoming the first Prime Minister of Independent India. Therefore, as a tribute to this great man and his love for children, his birthday is celebrated all over India as Children’s Day.
In India, this day is marked with a number of festivities across all parts of the country. On this day, schools organize different cultural programmes for students wherein they present singing and dance performances. Besides this, numerous activities and competitions are also held for students to participate, the most common of them being story telling, fancy dress, drawing and painting, speeches, debates and extempore. Also, to motivate the students, the winners are highly awarded.
How to celebrate Children’s Day?
Since this day is especially dedicated to children, all possible efforts are made to let them feel special. So, besides the celebrations at schools, there are interesting ways to celebrate Children’s Day at home. Since Children’s Day is just round the corner, so plan out something special and make this day unforgettable for the children. Given below are some ways:
Children’s Day is all about showering the love, care and affection on children and making them feel special. So, use the above tips to celebrate Children’s Day with fun and fervor.
Meet Mr. Amol Arora (Vice Chairman & Managing Director SHEMROCK & SHEMFORD Group of Schools) as he talks at “World Education Summit 2012” on preschool India at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi on 23rd July 2012 from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm.
SHEMROCK Summer Camp for children is the coolest place to be. So, give your little darlings the opportunity to enjoy a full range of activities designed for fun, participation and self-development. Experience the fun filled activities in the ‘SHEM Skills Package’ where children will get a chance to explore their smart skills.
Read full activities for summer camp 2012 & for registration visit here: http://www.shemrock.com/summercamp2012.htm
Watch our Managing Director, Mr. Amol Arora as he talks about his Entrepreneurial Journey on CNBC TV18 Young Turks tomorrow at 11:00 am & 7:30 pm.
Hear Mr. Amol Arora (Vice Chairman & Managing Director, SHEMROCK AND SHEMFORD Group of Schools) as he talks on “Technology in Education” at Global Education & Skill Summit 2011 organized at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi on 30th September, 2011.