January marks new beginnings for desis with Pongal and Lohri


So, seeing Indians world over are getting ready to celebrate festivals of renewal and new beginnings,  Toronto Desi Diaries has decided to introduce a new feature: a monthly events calendar.

The idea is to shine the spotlight on some of the desi events taking place in the Greater Toronto Area. So, if you or your organization has something coming up and would like it to be featured on the blog, shoot me all the relevant details (What, where, when along with a high-rez photograph) and send it to: Toronto.desidiaries@gmail.com. Deadline to submit is a month in advance.

Happy PongalPongal1

Pongal is a four-day harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu and is similar to the Makar Sankranti and Lohri festivals of the north. This year, the four-day Pongal falls on Jan. 14 to 17.

The festival can be called the Tamilian equivalent of Thanksgiving. The traditional fare in most homes consists of bounties of a good harvest. In homes, rice, sambar, medhu vadas, assorted vegetables topped off with a dessert called Sarkara Pongal made with rice and jaggery and seasoned with a dollop of ghee will likely be simmering on the stoves soon.

Homes are decorated with kolam (rangoli) and people wear new clothes. The festival is dedicated to the Sun (Surya) God.

In Toronto, the Bharathi Kala Manram will begin the year in an auspicious way with its the 2015 annual Pongal celebrations. The event will feature cultural events, the group’s annual general meeting, socializing and more and will take place at the Yorkwoods Public Library, Finch Ave, Downsview, on Saturday, Jan. 17 between 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Please email, info@manram.org to participate.

Just a quick note: Bharathi Kala Manram was started in 1969 as a portal to celebrate South Indian culture and traditions. The organization enhances its mandate with Indian classical events and Carnatic music concerts.

 2015 Lohri for Her

The 2015 Lohri for Her will take place Sunday, Jan. 25 at the Versailles Convention Centre at 6721 Edwards Blvd. Mississauga at 5 p.m. The event is hosted by Nach Balliye. Supplied photo

The 2015 Lohri for Her will take place Sunday, Jan. 25 at the Versailles Convention Centre at 6721 Edwards Blvd. Mississauga at 5 p.m. The event is hosted by Nach Balliye.
Supplied photo

You may remember Nach Balliye from my blog I wrote on its founder Sumeet Gill last year. This is the group that has been hosting some great events such as the Pink Ladoos and the Lohri for Her to promote the concept of gender equality and raise awareness about the abhorrent practice of selective abortion of female fetus.

On Jan. 25, Nach Balliye will be once again hosting its 4th annual Lohri for Her at the Versailles Convention Centre at 6721 Edwards Blvd. Mississauga. There’s a popular segment called Lohri Princesses in which parents of a girl child parade their precious blessings and celebrate her arrival in their lives. This is a hugely popular event and tickets get sold quickly and have to be purchased in advance. Proceeds go towards Nach Balliye’s initiatives. Interested? Please contact Gurleen Sidhu at 647-519-9335 or visit www.lohriforher.com.

2 thoughts on “January marks new beginnings for desis with Pongal and Lohri

  1. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where
    u got this from. many thanks

    • Hi Leon,
      Thank you for the comment. The design of the blog was all me, with some help from a friend who translated my vision into eye-catching graphics. The WordPress formats are great as well.

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