The first Lohri of a baby has special significance and is an important occasion celebrated with friends and family. Despite the tradition of Lohri being celebrated for the birth of a baby boy, most modern families celebrate Lohri for the birth all children: boys and girls.
As these events have become large and lavish affairs, planning for them has also become much more difficult. Harprit Patel, a certified senior event planner and the owner of Always & Forever Weddings has been working to plan events with families for many years. She describes the first lohri of a newborn as a “very special occasion where friends and family join together to celebrate and pray for the child’s good health and prosperity. This is a very significant event in the life of both the parents and the child.”
Working with a family’s wants, needs, budget and the desire to ensure a fabulous event that everyone will enjoy while maintaining a sense of calmness during the planning process are among the many reasons you might want to work with an event planner.
If you’re planning a lohri event, Patel recommends the following “to-do” list:
Select your venue – Select your venue based on the number of guests who will be attending. This is the first and most important decision you’ll make as it sets the tone for the entire event. Most venues offer discounted rates for events held between Monday to Thursday. Since lohri is always in January, you may even find an off-season discount for a weekend rental or potentially a free hall rental.
Hire a decorator – Be clear that you do not want the venue to look like a wedding reception! A room can be completely transformed with the use of bright, vibrant colours, Patel explains, “To celebrate the natural elements of water, wind and fire I would suggest a festive palette of royal blue, metallic gold and rich orange hues.”
Children’s activities – Since a Lohri event is a celebration of a child, the celebration calls for children’s activities which can be either traditional: popcorn, peanuts, and ‘gachuk’ (traditional Indian sweets); or more modern: bouncy castles, popcorn machines and an arts & crafts station.
Adult’s activities – Now that you have the kids covered, having something for the adults is essential! “We sometimes forget that adults love interacting with other family members and friends,” says Patel. “I like to work with my clients to create a positive and relaxed environment for everyone and then experiment a little bit more with the food.”
Food – Providing appetizers and drinks that are a little fancier will keep your guests captivated and talking for days! You can deviate from the typical pakoras and butter chicken and consider other options. Ask your venue what else they are able to offer: sautéed paneer skewers, shrimp cocktails, mini dosas, a gol gappa station, or chicken wings? Remember to have a vegetarian option as well. Most venues are able to accommodate requests so explore your taste buds and your guests will thank you!
Music – A DJ is an integral part of any function. To ensure the party keeps going and the music is outstanding always hire a DJ who you trust and one who will respect your input and deliver on the day of the event. Most DJs will work with you to create a playlist which will best suit your needs and ensure none of your guests are left sitting on their chairs.
Last, but certainly not least, some other considerations you will have include booking your videographer, photographer, makeup/hair stylists, and dhol player. Finally, don’t forget to bring a book of matches to light the ceremonial fire you’ll have for rituals being performed at the Lohri event.
With all of this information you might wonder why you should work with an event planner when you can do it all yourself. Well the answer is simple, time is money! Working with an experienced event planner to organize your child’s lohri will provide you with guidance, expertise and experience that will save you time, money and stress in the long run.
“Every event is a labour of love. I work tirelessly to make your dream become a reality so that can stay calm and watch as your vision unfolds before your eyes,” expresses Patel. “I know I’m successful when you are able to sit back, relax and enjoy your event alongside your guests.”
With the demanding Lohri season approaching, now is a great time to get organized.