Lohri is a Punjabi folk festival celebrated every winter time in India. It is an official holiday in India. Specifically, Lohri is celebrated on the 13th of January each year. It marks the culmination and last few days of winter. It is one of the most important festivals in Punjab and is also celebrated in Kashmir, Jammu, and other states in India. Lohri is a community festival so it involves gatherings and celebration of people. In rural Punjab, Lohri is called Lohi. Lohri 2020 will be celebrated on January 20, 2020.
What is Lohri?
There are many folklores and beliefs about the origin of Lohri. But originally, it is simply celebrated to signify the arrival of the longer days that are coming after the winter solstice. According to some folklore, Lohri was celebrated at the end of the winter solstice during ancient times. the longer days are to come because the sun will proceed northward upon its revolution. Nowadays, Indians celebrate Lohri during the 20th of January each year. Many activities and events are held during this time especially since it is a public holiday in the country.
Origin and History of Lohri
There are people who believe that the name Lohri came from the word Loi which is the name of the wife of Sant Kabir. Other people believe that the term came from the word Loh which means warmness of fire and light. And yet another belief is that the Lohri and Holika where sisters. The latter later perched while the former survived in a fire with Prahlad.
The significance of the Lohri Festival
The main significance of the Lohri festival in ancient times is the celebration of the winter crop season and commemoration of the Sun deity named Surya. There are Lohri songs that mention asking the Sun God for heat and thanking him in return. There are legends that say the celebration is a folk reverence for Agni who is the fire, Goddess.
Somehow different folklore about Lohri is linked to the tale of Dulla Bhatti. Many Lohri songs focus on him. He was regarded as a Punjab hero because he rescued Hindu girls from being taken by force and being sold in the slave market. During the Lohri festival, songs about him are sung after which, the adult of the house gives money and snacks to the youngsters who sang the song.
The Role of Lohri in Wedding Ceremonies
The Lohri is a day of celebrating the spark of life and fertility. In fact, the first Lohri celebration of a newlywed woman and her newborn child is considered to be a very important one. The families celebrate the day auspiciously. The in-laws of the woman will give her new sets of clothes and some beautiful jewelry.
For newlyweds, a grand celebration is arranged and lots of guests are invited. There are many gifts and wishes and blessings are poured down over the couple who are radiating with happiness.
Lohri in the Eyes of Farmers
Perhaps the farmers are the important celebrants of Lohri. Since in the first place Lohri is a celebration of the coming of the longer days, farmers are happy with the sun’s blessings on their farms. Popular crops harvested during this period are rabi, sugarcane, and nuts. Nuts especially are widely used in the bonfire celebration of the Lohri. The farmers and their families pray for abundant crop production for the coming year. Farmers also consider this day as the starting day of a new financial year.
As mentioned above, people have associated Lohri to the tale of Dulla Bhatti who is the main character in many Lohri songs. Such songs express gratitude for him especially for helping people. One thing he did that was mentioned before is that he rescued girls from becoming slaves. Apart from that, there are tales telling that he robbed the rich people and distributed those to the poor. He is also said to have arranged marriage among boys and girls who are good matches and also provided those couples with financial help.
Many rituals during the Lohri festival are celebrated even up until now. The most popular activity is the bonfire where people gather around to celebrate. They offer nuts, sweets, popcorn, and puffed rice to the bright flames of Lohri while they sing songs and exchange greetings with each other. People also do traditional dances during this day. they wear their brightest clothing and dance to the beat of the dhol. Modern day celebration of the Lohri also involve children going from home to home to sing Lohri songs and being given with snacks and money by the adults of the houses.
The Lohri Bonfire
The bonfire ceremony of the Lohri is a very important celebration in the region of Punjab. The bonfire is started at sunset in the main village square. People toss various things in the bonfire including nuts, sesame seeds, sugar candy, gur, and rewaries. They sit around the bonfire, sing, and dance until the fire runs out. There are some people who also go around the bonfire to perform prayers to show respect to the fire which is a main symbol in the Lohri celebration. people also pour in some milk and water around the bonfire.
Food Celebration During Lohri
Of course, the celebration of the Lohri, just like other festivals, will not miss foods. During the Lohri, many favorite foods are catered and served by the people including mustard greens, Makki di roti (which is usually the main dish served during the Lohri dinner), and Sarso de saag.
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Lohri Quotes, Messages, Prayers, and Wishes
Here are some Lohri Quotes, Messages, Wishes, and Prayers that you can share with your loved ones to make the Lohri festival celebration even better for you:
- “There would be no advantage to be gained by sowing a field of wheat if the harvest did not return more than was sown.”
- “Enjoy this Lohri to the fullest and don’t forget to put Rewri, moongfali and popcorns in the Lohri fire. This will definitely bring good luck for you.”
- May the Lohri fire burn all the moments of sadness and bring you the warmth of joy, happiness, and love.
- Wish that warmth of the bonfire, the sweetness of gud and rewari at Lohri remain with you forever.
- May this Lohri bring opportunities your way, to explore every joy of life, turning all your dreams into reality and all your efforts into great achievements. Happy Lohri!
- Hope divine grace brings joy to your heart and fulfills all your wishes on this auspicious occasion. Happy Lohri!
And those are all the important facts and details that you need to know about the Lohri festival. Without a doubt, Lohri is such an enjoyable and fun-filled event. So if you are one of the celebrants, then you better prepare for Lohri 2020 that is about to come and also have your list of Lohri Quotes, Messages, Prayers, and Wishes ready so that you can instantly share them with your friends and family members.