Lohri is also called the harvest festival and a traditional folk festival of Punjab. But across India, Lohri celebrations will take place in different forms. Haaga. Bihu / Bohaggiyo, Ganga Sagar Mela, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, Uttarayan, Maghi, Khichdi.
It indicates the beginning of the end of winter and the upcoming spring season.
This festival is celebrated or marked as old as Indus valley civilization.
This north Indian Lohri festival coincides with Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Magha Bihu in Assam, Tai Pongal in Kerala, all celebrated on
the same auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.
History of Lohri
According to Punjab’s history, Bhatti, a Rajput tribe during Akbar’s region, occupied the places of Rajasthan, Punjab & Gujarat. Dulla Bhatti, Raja of Pindi Bhattian, had put to death by the Mughal king for rebelling against him.
The tribal mirasis, who are also called street singers, will trace the history of the tribe and, interestingly, claim that Maharaja Ranjit Singh is one of its scions.
Like Robin Hood, even Dulla Bhatti used to rob from the rich people and give it to poor people. The people of these places used to Respect and love him much.
He once protected a girl from the kidnappers and adopted her as his daughter. And the people they remember every year on Lohri as their Hero. The marriage gift given by Dulla to his daughter was a kilo of sugar.
A group of children used to keep singing the Dulla Bhatti folk song everywhere, thanking and praising him.
“Dulla Bhatti ho! Dulle ne dhi viyahi ho! Ser shakar pai ho!”
Also Read: Why we celebrate Makar Sankranti?
Lohri is a festival celebrated to dedicate it to the Fire and the Sun God. During this time, the sun will transit the zodiac sign Capricorn, which is also known as Makar, and will further move towards the north. In terms of astrology, this can also be referred to as Sun becoming Uttarayan.
This new configuration brings warmness to the earth and decreases the ferocity of winter. It is to let off the chill January; the people light Bonfires, Dance around it, and Celebrate Lohri.
Fire here represents life and health. Fire and water represent the symbol of regeneration and transformation.
It represents the sun and is hence related, on the one hand with light rays, and on the other hand with gold. It is capable of vitalizing the growth of cornfields and for the well being of man and animals.
It is similar magic pretended to assure the supply of light and heat. It also represents an image for energy and spiritual strength, and that is why the Lohri fire gets bless and is worshiped like a god.
It mostly falls on January 13th, when the Earth will start moving towards the sun marking it as the auspicious period of Uttarayan. It marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
The earth inclines with regard to the sun along the Tropic of Capricorn (Makara) from Lohri’s day; this is also known as Winter Solstice. The earth, farthest from the sun at this point of time, starts its journey towards the sun along its elliptical orbit, thus indicating the start of spring. It is this transformation that is celebrated as Lohri.
Spending time with family and friends
Lohri is the festival which ties up the bond between various communities.
Farmers celebrate this as a harvest festival with traditional songs and dances.
While celebrating Lohri, every person comes across the need and importance of agriculture, harvest, and relationship values. It gives a chance to spend more time with family and friends.
Why is it Lohri Celebrated?
Lohri is celebrated in order to dedicate it to the fire and the sun god. It is called the Harvest festival of Punjab, which also coincides with Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Magha Bihu in Assam, Tai Pongal in Kerala, all celebrated on the same auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.
The fire here represents life and health, and the fire and the water indicate retransformation and regeneration.
The festival of Lohri is majorly celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus all across the country, which marks the completion of the winter season and is orthodoxly believed to welcome the sun to the northern hemisphere. Observed a night before Makar Sankranti, this celebration consists of a Puja Parikrama around the bonfire with prasad.
The people celebrate the festival with much happiness and more enthusiasm. They dance, sing, and chant along with the bonfire. They gather their seasonal harvested grains, including rice, cereals, sugarcane, turmeric, ragi, pulses, etc. They worship Lord Indra and thank the Sun god for getting them better yielding crops for the year.
The celebrations of this festival in villages will get started by gathering twigs, branches and cow dung whereas, on the other side, people in towns gather thin blocks of wood to make fire. Families will consider it has the best and precious time to shower their blessings on the newly married couples and newborn babies. Even a large number of functions are organized for such celebrations. Both girls and boys adore ethnic phulkari suits and boys in Punjabi just.
The seasonal bits like a reverie, dry fruits, Patti, peanuts, popcorn, and sugarcane form a major part of the celebration. People also throw these bits in the fire while chanting and dancing around the fire. Women here make a custard of spinach, mustard leaf, and lentil cooked with sugarcane juice, which is believed that it will purify the blood and cleanse our body from within. A few of the Lohri sweets are Gajak, Chikki, Pinni, and Laddu.