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Lohri: Fireworks, food, cultural fusion at Flat Bush

Barry Curtis Park in Flat Bush witnessed a blaze of colours and cultural enthusiasm on January 13, 2024, as Lohri Mela unfolded, bringing the spirit of Lohri to life. 

The highlight of the evening, which Maa Shakti Charitable Trust organised, was the roaring bonfire, the epitome of Lohri festivities, illuminating the night sky and creating the perfect ambience for the diverse crowd gathered to take part in the celebration.

"The bonfire is not just a tradition; it's a symbol of community, of coming together to celebrate the harvest season. It warms our hearts to see so many people from different backgrounds joining in this joyous occasion," remarked Vjay Gulati, one of the event organisers.

The night sky erupted in a burst of fireworks, adding a mesmerising visual spectacle to the celebration and enhancing the festive atmosphere.

"The fireworks were absolutely breathtaking. It added an extra layer of excitement and made the whole night feel magical. It was even better than the New Year fireworks display at Sky Tower," exclaimed an attendee, Manleen Kaur.

The event presented many entertainment options for attendees, from kids' amusement rides that echoed with laughter to stage performances showcasing the Kiwi-Indian community's rich heritage.

The beats of bhangra, the rhythm of the live DJ, and the infectious energy of dhol resonated throughout the park, encouraging attendees to dance and revel in the festivities.

"The music was the soul of the event. It had us tapping our feet and dancing with strangers, creating a sense of unity and joy. I felt I was back in India and enjoying the traditional Lohri festivities," commented Manraj Singh, a festival-goer.

Culinary delights took centrestage with food stalls offering a tempting array of Indian cuisine, from savoury delights like gol gappe and bread pakora to sweet treats like jalebi.

Art and craft stalls added a touch of creativity to the celebration, allowing attendees to explore and appreciate cultural treasures.

As the evening unfolded, a lucky draw sponsored by various establishments added an element of excitement, making the Lohri Mela an even more memorable experience for attendees.

Organisers expressed their gratitude to VIPs, sponsors, and supporters. "We are grateful for the overwhelming support from the community and our sponsors. Our volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth execution of the event. Their commitment and enthusiasm were instrumental in making the Lohri Mela a success," acknowledged Gulati.

Looking ahead, organisers expressed their commitment to enhancing the event each year and creating a memorable experience for the community.

"The Lohri Mela is not just a celebration; it's a cultural bridge that brings people together. We aim to make it even more spectacular in the coming years," concluded Gulati.

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