The winter this year has chilled us to the bones, yet there seems to be no respite. However, it is that time of the year again when we look forward to warming our hearts (and ourselves) by lighting up bonfires, dancing to the beats of dhols and savouring the popcorn, ‘revri’, ‘gajak’, çhikki’, ’til patti’ and peanuts. And, who can talk about winters in Dilli and not mention the famous, ‘Sarson ka saag with makke de roti‘? Oh! my word, just writing about it, brings back memories of me having this gorgeous meal with ‘gur’ and ‘mirch ka achaar’. I have always enjoyed Lohri – who doesn’t like generous servings of sweet and savoury snacks sitting by the fire and listening to wonderful, peppy music. Dressing up for the occasion comes with it, of course!
Lohri falls on the 13th day of January every year to celebrate the bountiful harvests. It is celebrated with great flamboyance in North India. People go around the fire three times, giving offerings of popcorns, peanuts, rayveri and sweets as a way to thank for an abundant harvest and pray for prosperity. Held on the last day of the month Paush, Lohri also marks the Sun’s entry into the northern hemisphere, popularly known as Uttarayan signifying the end of the cold winter days.
The sight of beautiful Punjabi women in their traditional attire, with bright bursts of colours, created by the stunning magic of needle with threads, is a sight to behold! Of course, I am referring to Phulkari.
Do you already own some Phulkari treasure? If not, either you can go for a little lovely holiday to the beautiful, countryside in Punjab or, order some with simply a click of the mouse. Traditional and technology, work well together! The next few lines will help you do just that. Relax and click away…
Look out for Aiyana, a fashion brand that works to revive heritage crafts in Punjab through contemporary designs. Have a look at their complete collection here. Also, bits and pieces of Phulkari paraphernalia can be found on ‘Icanshop.com‘, ‘Talking Threads‘, ‘What Khabar‘, for perhaps your customized phulkari needs, ‘Unravel India‘, for some stunning phulkari dupattas to name a few. And of course! the likes of Manish Malhotra, Charu Parashar have some absolutely splendid pieces in Phulkari.
Warm up your hearts with the bonfire this Lohri, savour the delicacies and brighten up with a touch of tradition with Phulkari. Personally for me, accessorizing with a scarf/ dupatta in phulkari or maybe a clutch and juttis does the trick. Enjoy the food, the clothes this Lohri and spread the joy!
I am inspired by the sheer beauty of the Phulkari stitches and patterns that I have started a search to find out about courses in my city. I haven’t been very successful so far, so I will update this post as soon as I have checked out a few options. I have heard of Sameeksha school of embroidery in Bangalore (run by Sujaya Mahesh and Apeksha Mahesh) and Mridula’s school of embroidery in Alwarpet, Chennai (+91-44-65373432) though I haven’t done a detailed research on either of them. They are just references from friends. Do tell us if you know of any specialized courses in Delhi NCR.
If you are keen to learn more about the ancient craft of Phulkari, the folklore and more, I found these two resources very informative and useful.
As I end this post, I am reminded of the many preparations I need to do for this evening Lohri celebrations with my family. We’re grateful for the joy and abundance in our lives – the fire, revri, popcorn, gajak and the exquisite phulkari. Here’s wishing all our readers a very happy Lohri once again!