“Today Albertans of South Asian heritage mark an assortment of Winter Harvest Festivals that date back centuries. Known as Lohri, Makar Sankranti or Pongal, the harvest and winter solstice festivals are celebrated in different ways throughout the Indian subcontinent.

“No matter how it is marked, it is a time to celebrate the blessings of the harvest and beginning of longer and sunnier days. Across the world, families and friends come together to share the warmth of a fire, sing songs, roast peanuts and enjoy festive dishes like jaggery, a sugar cane dish, and gajak, a traditional dessert.

“As the days grow longer, it is wonderful to see Albertans of diverse communities coming together to share in this multi-faith celebration. Diversity is one of our province’s greatest strengths, and festivities like this one make our society more diverse, open and inclusive. 

“I wish everyone a happy Lohri, Makar Sankranti or Pongal and a prosperous year ahead.”

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