The popular amazing festival of Happy Lohri is finally here!
A traditional festival of Punjab, Lohri is celebrated a night before Makar Sankranti to mark the end of winter and to commemorate the harvesting of Rabi crops in Punjab. Observed every year on January 13, it is not only one of the most significant festivals among Sikhs and Punjabis all over the world, but Lohri is also celebrated by people in Jammu and Kashmir and other states with utmost enthusiasm.
Lohri is also an auspicious occasion for newly-married couples who participate in the traditional rituals, take seven rounds of the holy fire of Lohri and seek blessings from elders. To celebrate the Lohri festival, people gather around the bonfire and throw puffed rice, and popcorn in the bonfire. Then, they sing folk songs and dance together.
The festival of Lohri is celebrated every year on the night before Makar Sankranti in the Northern parts of the country. This year in 2023, it will fall on Friday, 13 January.
There are several beliefs and opinions behind why we celebrate Lohri. The main story about Lohri is linked to Dulla Bhatti. According to the legends, Dulla Bhatti used to live in the Mughal district of Punjab and was popular among people as a fearless man who rescued Hindu girls - Sundri and Mundri from being forcibly trafficked as slaves in the Middle Eastern markets from the Sandal Bar region. These girls and Dulla Bhatti have become a theme of Punjab folk songs.
Another story revolves around the wife of Saint Kabir, “Loi”, as some people believe that Lohri has derived its name from here, while many legends think that the festival derived its name from the word “Loh”, which stands for light and warmness. Another belief is that Holika and Lohr were sisters where Holika died in the fire, and the latter survived the same.
On this day, the winter crop of Punjab, wheat, is seen prime in January, which is later harvested in March after a few weeks of harvesting the Rabi crop. Another significant belief is that on this day, the Sun enters the zodiac of Capricorn, which is considered auspicious. This is why the festival is called “Makar Sankranti”.
Every year, the festival of Lohri is celebrated by people lighting bonfires. They dress nicely, sing folk songs and dance around the bonfire while throwing food items like popcorn, peanuts, puffed rice, etc., into the fire to receive blessings from God. Lohri celebrations begin around 10 to 15 days prior in several parts of Punjab. People harvest logs for the Lohri bonfire and exchange grains and jaggery.
A huge bonfire is organised with various sweet delicacies on display to eat together. The vibes turn exciting when everyone dances “Bhangra” and “Gidda” on the beats of Dhol. people decorate their homes and organise a feast for friends and families. They pray to fire god to bless the land with prosperity and abundance.
Punjabi Lohri has a significant role in the state of Punjab, where Wheat, a major winter crop, is planted in the month of October and gets reaped in March or April. In the month of January, it can be seen in its prime stage as the fields turn all gold. This is why farmers celebrate the festival of Lohri during this period before reaping and collecting all the crops.
Lohri is observed to commemorate the ending of the winter solstice and the movements of the Sun towards the northern hemisphere, after which the days become longer and nights become shorter. Lohri is about celebrating these warmer days and harvesting rabi crops by farmers signified through bonfires and throwing puffed rice. The earth starts its journey towards the Sun during this time, commemorating the coldest months of the year.
Punjabis celebrate the festival of happy Lohri with utmost fun and thrill with their friends and family. Here are some facts that might sound interesting to you about the festival. Take a look:
Now you know the Lohri festival is celebrated in which state - Punjab, but it is a popular Hindu festival associated with the agricultural community. The festival is celebrated to seek blessings from the God Sun and Goddess Agni. Sweets are thrown in the fire as Prasadam.
The festival of Lohri marks the ending of cold winter days, after which the nights become shorter and days become longer. Lohri celebrations signify a bonfire, drum beats, folk dances, and folk music.
Lohri signifies the beginning of a new financial year as traditionally, the earnings of the winter crops are realised on Lohri.
Lohri is an Indian solstice festival just like Yuletide and Christmas. Due to geographical differences, it falls in the middle of January.
Many fairs and activities are organised on this day which locals, as well as foreign tourists, hugely visit.
The festival of Happy Lohri is celebrated by Punjabis all over the world to bring joy and luck to households. Here are a few cities you can visit to experience the festival's vibes. Take a look:
Chandigarh is a beautiful city and capital of Punjab and Haryana, where the festival of Lohri is celebrated with a lot of fun and enthusiasm. Huge parties are organised, and people meet each other and offer each other happy Lohri wishes and sweets.
Who doesn't want to visit the city of the Golden Temple during the Lohri festival? Bonfires are lit up on a large scale, and gurudwaras are decorated nicely. Markets are full of visitors and offer delicious food to people. A large number of devotees visit Golden Temple to take blessings.
It is one of the most popular and ancient cities in Punjab, where the Lohri festival is celebrated with lots of thrill and excitement. New clothes, sparkling ornaments, vibrant music, and delicious food all give interesting festive vibes.
The capital of India, can be a great place to observe the celebrations of Lohri. People from all religions and backgrounds participate in the Lohri festival and dance around the bonfire to Punjabi folk music.
Now you know that the festival of Happy Lohri is one of the most significant festivals in the Punjab community and is celebrated in the country with lots of fun. They light bonfires to bring prosperity and pray to god for the end of evil and all other negative energies. Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Lohri.
1. Why do people light bonfires on Lohri?
It is believed that the flames of the bonfire during the Lohri celebrations signify the Sun God and Agni goddess blessing the land with happiness and prosperity.
2. What do people offer in a Lohri fire?
People get together around the bonfire and throw puffed rice, popcorn, peanuts etc., into the fire and dance to Punjabi folk songs.
3. What is the message of Lohri?
Through lighting bonfires, the message of the Lohri festival is to burn away all the sadness in people’s lives and bring them joy and happiness.