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Makar Sankranti and Lohri at Arya Samaj

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HOUSTON: DAV Sanskriti School of Arya Samaj Greater Houston celebrated last Sunday the event known as Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Pongal, Bihu, etc. in different parts of India reflecting its colorful diversity. Acharyaji spoke at length about its significance that is sun’s reversal from its southern journey to back to northward. In plain terms, that translates into winter becoming less harsh and paving the path for spring. Indeed, the Sunday weather attested to that by plenty of sunshine without the cold wind that had become common in the last few days.

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Sanskriti School kids had a direct learning of both theory and practice behind the science, art and festivities of the event. This event has a fixed date because of sun’s movement whereas the other Indian festivals follow moon’s movements. The Sanskriti School teachers, parents and kids were told that the classical Indian calendar is the most scientific, taking into account lunar months synchronizing with the solar year. The Vedic concept of 12 months in a year was adopted by the western calendar that earlier had 10 months in a year – March to December – the term December referred to the 10th month, Dasham in Sanskrit.

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One fire pit was made active, a replica of the ancient practice of Havan. There were heaps of peanut, revris, etc. for the children to offer into both the fires – the one in the fire pit and the other in their belly. This reflected the farmers’ gaiety and festivity on seeing their crops maturing at this time of the year. Soon began the sound of dhol that increased the decibel level as well as the festive spirit. The open area converted into a makeshift stage and the people began dancing. The children were treated to Bhangra, Gidda, etc. Their special delight was the Bhangra master Arjun Barua who came in the attire that is seen in photos only. Many kids went to touch him and his clothes to get the real feel of it.

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Nearby were the kite flying kids. If someone didn’t bring a kite then there was an expert supplying the necessary raw material and guiding to make a kite. Imagine a kid’s delight to fly a kite made by him some minutes ago. As usual, the food was attractive with Makki di Roti, Sarson ka Saag, etc. The food committee had been quite liberal in arranging foods but the number of people (around 500+) enjoying the event far exceeded anybody’s expectations that they went into jittery. Not to be outsmarted, they went into war like emergency drill and ensured that everybody’s belly fire met its expectations as the fire pit did. One seasoned Punjabi remarked, “I had never seen such a lively and vibrant Lohri in my so many years in Punjab”. That befits the humble thanks to all the volunteers of Sanskriti School and Arya Samaj.

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Sanskriti School noted a number of new enrollments for the spring term and were forced to keep it open for another Sunday, the 21st January.

They can be reached at 832-874-3376. Not to be left behind, DAV Montessori School (the regular elementary school at Arya Samaj) announced its open days during the week of January 16.

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