The year has just begun and the first festival of all; Lohri has arrived. The festival of Lohri is celebrated on January 13th every year. It doesn’t play a guessing game with us every year and come on a fixed date unlike Holi and Diwali. According to popular beliefs, Lohri is celebrated to celebrate the end of peak winter. This festival is also linked to the harvest of Rabi crops that are harvested in winters. It’s the traditional time to harvest sugarcane crops in January. Punjabi farmers celebrate the festival with lot of zeal and fervour. Lohri (Maghi) is also celebrated as the financial New Year.
Lohri History, Significance, Story behind it
Lohri is celebrate a night before Makar Sakranti. It is also known as Maghi. It falls typically on the same date every year. It marks the end of winter and the beginning of longer days. The sun travels towards the Northern Hemisphere during this time. Lohri is celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs of Northern India.
Hindus and Sikhs traditionally light up bonfires and the entire community celebrate the festival together. They socialise around the fire, sing and dance. Traditional sweets like Rewri, Gazak, Gur Patti, Chikki, etc are served. The Lohri song which is sung around the bonfire mentions the Sun god and thanks him for his heat and benevolence. The God of fire is also worshipped on Lohri.
Legend of Dulla Bhatti
There is legend of Dulla Bhatti that is sung as a central theme among many Lohri songs. He was hailed as a hero of Punjab. He saved the Hindu girls from being abducted and taken forcibly into slave trading to the Middle East. Among the girls he saved, there were Sundri and Mundri who gradually became the theme of Lohri song.
In many places of Punjab, 10 to 15 days before the festival of Lohri, teenagers and children go around the neighbourhood in search of logs for the bonfire. They also ask for treats from the elders in the neighbourhood.