The year’s first set of festivals has not sparked a great deal of enthusiasm among youngsters in the city, with many choosing to skip celebrations associated with Lohri on Sunday, and Makar Sankranti and Pongal on Monday.
“I had plans to attend a reunion of college friends, so I missed my family’s Lohri festivities on Saturday night," said Shruti Kaur, 24, an advertising professional. While the Sikh community celebrated Lohri on Saturday, many Punjabis gathered around the traditional bonfire on Sunday.
Hoping that a promise of good food will draw more young people to the festival, the trustees at Dahisar’s Kalkidhar Sabha gurudwara will host a buffet after the Lohri prayers. “Over the last few years, we have added a buffet to the celebrations so that more youngsters stay back for the bonfire,” said a trustee. “Most of them youngsters prefer to eat out instead of attending the langar, so this service might be more to their taste,” he said.
The kite-flying festival of Makar Sankranti has also found few takers among the youth. “I have never learned how to fly kites so the festival does not excite me," said Parth Shah, 25, a public relations professional. “Also, as Sankranti is on a Monday, I will not be able to celebrate it anyway,” said the Dadar resident.
Advertising professional Jay Naik concurred. “I used to enjoy flying kites when I was in college, but since I started working two years ago, it has been difficult to make time for it,” said the 24-year-old.
But not everyone is playing spoilsport. Rashmi Suhasaria, 24, is visiting her hometown in Gujarat for Makar Sankranti. “The kite-flying festival is celebrated on a grand scale there," said the IT professional.
Among the older generations, there is no shortage of preparations as they look forward to steeping themselves in traditions, both religious and gastronomical. “The sale of traditional tilgul laddoos (sesame sweets) and gul polis (a jaggery dish) has gone up by 15% this year,” said Sanjiv Panshikar from Dadar’s Pankshikar Sweets.
Early on Monday morning, more than 2,000 Tamilian women will gather at the Ganpati temple on Dharavi’s 90 feet road to make ‘pongal’ in celebration of the eponymous harvest festival.