Lohri: The Harvest Festival

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Lohri

Introduction

Lohri is celebrated in North India, especially in Punjab. It is celebrated on 13 January which is one day before Makar Sankranti. Lohri also relates to the festivities celebrated in the harvesting of farmers. It is celebrated in Punjab as the harvesting season and the end of the winter season.

This festival is celebrated in different states of India. Except for Punjab, this festival is celebrated in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu Kashmir, and Delhi. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14 January, and the next day, Pongal is celebrated by Tamil Hindus.

Thus, it is celebrated in various forms in India.

One day before the eve of Makar Sankranti, Lohri is celebrated with great fanfare in Punjab, Haryana, and neighboring states. Lohri holds special significance for the Punjabi people.

A few days before Lohri, young children start collecting wood, nuts, peanuts, gajjak, and til rewari for the eve of Lohri.

A fire is lighted on the eve of Lohri in the evening.

People circle the fire and dance & sing there. People around the fire are offered with peanuts, til rewari, maize seeds, etc. Sitting around the fire, people enjoy eating rewari, maize seeds, gajjak, etc.

And the house where a person is newly married or has a child is specially greeted. First, Lohri of a new bride or the child is very special in the house or for the family.

Lohri was earlier known as Tilodi.

The word “Tilodi” is derived from the combination of two words sesame and road (jaggery), which changed over time and became famous as Lohri.

History of Lohri

Farmers of Punjab see Lohri as a financial day. During this time, the farmer brothers pray and thank God for the harvest before harvesting. This festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Punjab, a day for the farmers to thank their lord and master.

Lohri night is considered to be the longest night of the year, according to the Hindu calendar.

This festival is celebrated on January 13, which falls in Paush or Magha according to the Hindu calendar.

Why Is It Celebrated?

The folklore “Sunder Mundriye” is the tale of a man called Dulla Bhatti. Once upon a time, there were two orphan girls named Sundari and Mundari. Their uncle wanted to sell them to market as a slave.

At the same time, there was a famous bandit named Dulla Bhatti.

He freed both the girls, Sundari and Mundari from there and arranged their marriage with two boys of the village. And he gave them dowry from the stolen money.

Dulla Bhatti helped the girls, and after convincing the boys to burn a fire in a forest, Sundari and Mundri got married.

Dulla himself bestowed both of them. It is said that the groom gave him sugar as an omen.

Some people also believe that Lohri is celebrated in the memory of Saint Kabir’s wife, Loi. And the word Lohri is also originated from the name Loi. And it is also said that Lohri and Holika are both sisters.