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Lohri will be celebrated on 13 January 2020.
One of the most famous Punjabi festival in India - Lohri is just around the corner. The festival of Lohri is a famous Indian festival which begins on the last night of the Paush month and continues till the morning of Makar Sankranti (the kite festival). This festival is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm and gusto.
India is a culturally rich country and festivals are celebrated with great pride in India. Each province has its own special festivals. One of these is Lohri. Lohri is one of the main festivals of Punjab province, which everyone in Punjab celebrates with great fanfare. It is a harvest festival that is observed by Sikhs. The festival of Lohri starts early in the morning and people greet each other with great enthusiasm. Lohri splashes start several days in advance.
The festival of Lohri is also associated with the Vikram Samvat Calendar and falls along with the famous festival of Makar Sakranti – The Festival of Kites. The festival of Makar Sakranti is celebrated in Punjab by the name of Maghi Sankrant.
The reason that the Lohri is celebrated is to commemorate the passing of the winter solstice. This festival is celebrated to welcome the new financial year of the farmers according to the Vikram Samvat Calendar. New agricultural ventures begin with Lohri, thus it is also known as the harvest festival. Hence, it is also celebrated as beginning of the next financial year.
Lohri is the most famous festival of Punjab and Haryana, but it is now widely celebrated by Hindus as well. This festival is so popular among various regions of the country that everyone celebrates it with great joy and enthusiasm. Lohri is like a thanksgiving ceremony, as the farmers on Lohri show their gratitude to the Almighty for a good abundance and a rich harvest.
Many days before the arrival of Lohri, young and children sing songs of Lohri. To commemorate the spirit of Lohri, people sing songs fifteen days prior to the festival. Every festival in India has various delicacies associated with them. There are special dishes of every festival in India. Gajak, Revdi, Peanuts etc. are eaten in Lohri and various other dishes are also made. In this, ‘Sarso ka Saag’ and ‘Makke ki Roti’ are specially made.
Many types of wood are collected since the days before Lohri. The bonfires are the special aspect of the festival of Lohri. People start collecting woods since several days before Lohri. These are typically to light the bonfire on the night of Lohri. People sit around these bonfires, sing songs & eat.
It is a common belief that during the festival of Lohri, people should forget all the sorrow and disagreements of the past. They should embrace all their friends and family as well as congratulate and wish each other. Another important trend of Lohri is igniting the pile of wood, revolve around it and ask for blessings for yourself and your loved ones. Married people go around with their partner. Revadi, sugarcane, gajak etc. are consumed by sitting around this bonfire.
Rabi crops are also cut during Lohri. The life of the farmers depends on the production of these crops and when the crops of any season come to the houses, festivities are celebrated with great enthusiasm. Sugarcane crop is sown in Lohri as well as old crops are harvested. These days, radish and mustard are also sown in the field. It is also a festival celebrating the onset of spring. In certain parts of Punjab, people also fly kites. Lohri is also celebrated as the farmers new year in Punjab province. This festival is celebrated more by people of Punjab and Haryana.
The origin of Lohri can be traced back to Purana. According to Purana, Lohri is celebrated to remember the Lady Sati. According to the story, when Prajapati Daksha had despised Mahadev Shiva, the husband of his daughter Sati, and by not including him in the worship. Due to this, his daughter dedicated herself to fire. The same day is celebrated every year on Lohri as a repentance and for this reason gifts are given to the married daughter of the house on this day and she is honored by being invited to the celebration.
Over time, people associated Lohri with the story of Dulla Bhatti. The central character of many Lohri songs is Dulla Bhatti, who lived in Punjab during the tenure of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. To pay tribute, many also refer to Robin Hood - Dulla Bhatti of Punjab. He not only looted the rich, but also saved the poor Punjabi girls who were forcibly taken to the slave market to be sold. Among them, there were two girls named Sundari and Mundari, who also became the subject of punjbi folklore due to mighty Dulla Bhatti. Therefore, Lohri's songs are sung to pay respect to the services rendered by him during his lifetime.
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