The festival of Lohri is being celebrated in Punjab with traditional fervour and gaiety with functions being organised at several places, including schools, to mark the day.Bonfires, an important part of the festivities, were lit as several families danced to the tunes of famous festival songs like ‘Sundariye Mundariye Ho’ among others.During the day, kites such as the ‘Tukkal’, ‘Chhaj’, ‘Pari’ of different colours, sizes and shapes with ‘Happy Lohri’ and ‘Happy New Year-2018’ messages were seen in the sky.Kite-flying competitions were organised across the state, including Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala, with people challenging each other to cut kites.In Ludhiana, those with pictures of chief ministers Amarinder Singh and Arvind Kejriwal, and SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal were in great demand.”Kites with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s picture attracted buyers,” Amritsar-based kite seller Jagmohan Kanojia said.He alleged that kite strings made of nylon and plastic, also known as ‘Chinese dor’, were still being sold.The Punjab government had put a ban on manufacturing and sale of synthetic threads for kite flying as it could cause fatal injuries to “humans, birds and cattle”.People distributed jaggery, peanuts and popcorns- the three edibles associated with Lohri.The festival was dedicated to the girl child at several places in Punjab by organising ‘Dhiyan Di Lohri’ to make people aware of the importance of girls.Traditionally, Lohri celebrates the onset of the harvest season in Punjab.Girls in traditional attire performed Gidha — a folk dance — in several schools in Amritsar, Moga and Ferozepur.Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh greeted people on the occasion of Lohri.”Wishing you all a very Happy Lohri. May the bonfire give you warmth and joy & may it bring along happiness and prosperity for you and your family,” he tweeted.

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Kite-flying, bonfires mark Lohri celebrations in Punjab