Makar Sankranti or Lohri is a harvest festival in which the Sun is honoured. It is believed that the Sun begins its northward journey (Uttarayan) on this day, signalling the end of Winter and the start of the new Spring and harvest season. The days start to get longer and the nights start to get shorter after this day.
This festival is seen by Hindus as the start of a new auspicious cycle. A true Happy New Year is a festival of new resolutions, new beginnings, and new commitments.
Let’s look at some fun activities for kids so that they learn more about this festival.
Lohri Activity for Kids
Every state in India celebrates the festival with great fervour. Every state has its own name for the festival and celebrates it in its own way. It was known as Lohri in North India. At night, they light a bonfire and dance and sing around it.
On this day, people in the West fly kites and compete in kite-flying competitions. Pongal is how people in the South refer to it. They prepare sweets and savoury rice dishes, while the children chew sugarcane. On this day, people all over India consume sesame seeds and jaggery sweets.
This is a fantastic festival to share with your children, and it’s a great way to introduce them to Indian culture and words in their native tongue!
Fun Activities for Kids
Take a book to read: Find a book about the Lohri festival and read it to your child. Your child will be enthralled by the vibrant images and will want to participate in the festival with zeal.
Plant a tree: For farmers, Lohri is a significant festival because it is meant to express gratitude to nature for a good crop. Sow some seeds with your child, water them every day, watch them grow into a plant, and enjoy their fruits and flowers to bring the spirit home.
Have a bonfire: The lighting of the bonfire in the evening is the festival’s highlight. Organise a bonfire night for the kids in the area. Sing traditional Punjabi folk songs to them and hand out til laddoos, peanuts, and gajak. Allow them to eat some and throw some in the fire to express their gratitude to nature for all that it has provided.
Fun Lohri Activities for Kids
Fly kites: This Lohri, fly kites with your child to paint the sky with vibrant colours.
Mini bonfires: This is a fun activity for kids who can’t go outside in the cold to watch a real bonfire. With your child, collect a few small sticks from the nearby park and build a bonfire with them on top of some tea light candles. Light and gather around the fire for a family dinner.
Take some chart paper in various colours and some thread to make mini kites. Make mini kites with your child and have fun.
Appreciate food: Talk about how the food gets to the table from the farm during mealtime. Explain the various sowing, ploughing, and harvesting processes. This will teach your child to respect the food she eats on a daily basis.
Special meal: Serve Sarson ka saag and Makki ki roti with til and jaggery sweets as a Lohri special meal.
Making a Decorative Plate for Lohri
Obviously, you will need to decorate the plate for the Poojan of the Lohri fire, why not the kids help you?. But what if you complete this task in the style of the Lohri festival? This Lohri Festival craft idea can be completed at home. The dolls can be purchased outside, and you can make your own small sacks for the popcorn and peanuts. With the help of matchsticks and red thread, decorate the boundary with a layer of peanuts and build a small bonfire. With craft paper and thin sticks, you can make your own kites for the plate.
Banners and Craft
Apart from the previous scene, your children can also draw and colour the Dance around the Fire with crayons. For the drawings, they can use resemblances to Sardar Ji’s and the dhol artist. The bonfire should be kept in the centre, so it should be drawn first, followed by the crowd.
The background for this Festival craft idea is chart paper, and it won’t cost you much money. You can purchase the kites and write Lohri on them, as well as draw your own fires and dhols. Kite cuts from the chart papers can also be used. Remember to write Happy Lohri in the middle with your lovely handwriting.
Make these cut-and-paste clothes and dhols with your kids. They can draw the clothes on a variety of coloured papers and then cut them out with a pair of scissors. Then they can put all of the pieces together to make these simple Lohri Festival craft ideas. If necessary, touch up with a black pen at the end to make any corrections.
Rangoli and Decoration
You can also use this lovely Rangoli craft to decorate for the festival. For the lighting, it uses simple rangoli colours and a few Diyas. Brown, orange, yellow, and red colours can also be used to create a bonfire rangoli.
Because the festival is widely celebrated across Punjab, you can create your own mini-Punjab at home. For the celebration day, you can rent mannequins from a nearby store and dress them in traditional Punjabi Munda and Kudi garb. You can also use pictures of Punjab and the name of the lovely state to decorate the background wall.
Decorate the Place
If you only have a limited amount of wood for the fire, you can decorate the area with flowers as part of the Festival Craft ideas. Make a barrier with stones at first so that the burning woods don’t fall during the celebrations. Then, for the evening, you can create your own pattern based on it. In the image above, we’ve created a large flower figure out of the small ones, with a fire in the centre.
If your walls are looking a little bare, make this lovely drawing and hang it on the wall. The above drawing is simple to make and is coloured with watercolours.
Some More Fun Activities
Make Cupcakes for the Bonfire. Attending or hosting a celebration? Put on your baking gloves and bake cupcakes with your kids, then top them with candy shards and pretzels to make a bonfire. Enjoy the sweetness with your loved ones.
Have a popcorn celebration! Around Lohri, chikkis, popcorn, and brittles are popular foods. Make some homemade popcorn and let everyone season it with their favourite toppings for a relaxing evening at home.
Make mini bonfires with tealights. Make your own mini bonfires with tealight candles if it’s too cold to go outside or you live in the city. Roast some mini marshmallows on a toothpick just for fun… who can resist minis?!
Lohri is a fun festival where many people enjoy Sunder mundriye, bonfires, peanuts, and Gachak. Every year on January 13th, Lohri is a festival of celebration, fun, and the coming together of women, men, and children. The day of Lohri begins with children collecting money from neighbours’ houses. Winter savouries are served around a bonfire in the evening.
If there has been a happy event in the family in the previous year, such as the birth of a child or marriage, the festival takes on greater significance. The family then hosts relatives and friends, with the food taking a back seat and the merriment taking over. Then it’s time for some gidda, dhol, bhangra, and light flirtation. Happy Lohri to everyone!