Lohri festival is a very popular Punjabi festival celebrated every year by the people of Punjabi religion in the South Asia. It is considered that it is celebrated in winter on the day when the day becomes a shortest day and the night becomes a longest night of the year.
It is celebrated as a harvest festival of the Punjab by lighting a bon-fire, dancing and singing in the praise of the Dulha Batti. Mainly it is a festival of Punjabis however it is also celebrated by the people living in other Northern Indian States including Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, etc.
Why Lohri Festival is Celebrated
There are many assumptions of celebrating the Lohri festival in Punjabis. Some of them are mentioned below:
- It is believed that the name Lohri was originated from the word “Loi” (the wife of the Saint Kabir).
- However, some believed that it was originated from the word “Loh” (a device used to make chapattis).
- Another belief of celebrating the festival of Lohri is, it was originated as Lohri behind the name of sister of Holika. People believed that the sister of Holika was survived however Holika herself died in the fire.
- Another reason of celebrating this festival is that Lohri word was originated from the word tilorhi (a combination of til and rorhi).
- Farmers celebrate Lohri as a beginning of the new financial year.
How to Celebrate Lohri Festival
It is celebrated by the people in India with lots of joy and happiness like other festival. It is the festival which brings together all the family members, relatives and friends at one place. At this day people meet and enjoy distributing sweets to each other. It is a most famous harvest festival of great importance for the farmers. People light a bon fire at this day, then sing a song and dance around it. They throw some rewaries, popcorn, sugar-candies, sesame seeds, gur and other things in the fire while singing and dancing around the bonfire.
It is celebrated at various places in India with different names such as Bhogi in the Andhra Pradesh, Magha Bihu in the Assam, Makar Sankranti in the Karnataka, UP and Bihar, Pongal in the Tamil Nadu, Tai Pongal in Kerala etc. A pooja ceremony is held in evening when people do prayer to Agni and do parikrama around the bonfire in order to get blessings for future prosperity. People enjoy eating delicious foods like sarson ka saag, makki ki roti, til, gur, gazak, moongphali, popcorn and phuliya as a Prasad. Everyone sing and dance and enjoy eating Lohri Prasad.
Everyone wear very beautiful and colourful clothes at this day and do Bhangra (or Gidda) dance on the beat of Dhol (a music instrument). Celebration of the Lohri signifies as a starting of the new financial year for the farmers. It is celebrated every year by the Punjabis living in India or aboard. Lohri festival is of great importance for the newlywed couple as well as newborn babies for the first time in their home.
At this day, the bride get decorated with all the things like new bangles, clothes, nice bindi, mehendi, saree, stylish hair make up with her well dressed husband wearing new clothes and colourful turban. At this day every new bride gets lots of gifts from her in-laws including new clothes and jewelleries.
Family members from both side (bride and groom) and invited other main guests get together in this grand celebration. Newlywed couple sit on one place and other family members, neighbours, friends, relatives gift them something. They all give blessings to the couple for their better life and happiest future.
The first Lohri of a new born baby is also celebrated in grand way. It is the most important occasion for the new born in the family. Everyone welcome new one in the family by gifting needed things to the baby. Mother of the baby sit at one place having a well dressed baby in her lap. Baby looks very nice in the new clothes, jewelleries and mehendi on the hands. Baby gets lots of gifts (including clothes, jewelleries, fruits, peanuts, sweets, etc) from both side like maternal grandparents and paternal grandparents.