Lohri Festival: A Bright Festival Of Winter Solstice
Posted on Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 by Navneet Kaur
Lohri is the first Indian celebration and festival of the new calendar year. Amongst the melange of festivities in India, Lohri is celebrated with great pomp and energy across different regions. Lohri festival is a harvesting festival in India celebrated predominantly in Punjab.
Lohri Festival is a tribute to the farmers who work hard in labour to provide us with food and grains. This is the harvest season for Punjabi farmers when they begin to reap the harvest of the Rabi crops, mainly wheat. This period marks the end of the winter solstice, after which everyone can expect warmer and longer days.
Lohri festival is mainly celebrated in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu. Regardless, this authentic festival in India is celebrated by many Hindus and Sikhs all over the country.
History of Lohri festival in India
As per ancient tradition, the Lohri festival was celebrated at the end of the winter solstice to mark the arrival of longer days. It is believed to have originated at the foot of the Himalayan mountains, where winter is usually colder than the rest of the Indian subcontinent.
This is solely what gave rise to Lohri Bonfires as the farmers used to light Lohri bonfires during the celebration, sit around them, and dance together. The festival of Lohri is marked by the worship of Agni and Surya – The gods of Fire and Sun alike.
There is also a story of Dulla Bhatti, a Muslim bandit who lived during the era of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He rescued Hindu maidens from being actively sold as slaves to the Middle East. He would get them married to Hindu boys in the presence of a bonfire and sing songs in celebration. Consequently, the tradition of the Lohri bonfire began.
Concept and origin of Lohri
Lohri marks the end of winters in India. Groups of people gather around enormous, teaming Lohri bonfires to celebrate the end of the winter solstice.
Significance of Lohri festival
Lohri festival marks the beginning of the harvest season in India. It is celebrated to offer gratitude for making a bounteous harvest possible. Lohri festival night traditionally falls on the longest night of the year, which is known as the winter solstice. This festival in India indicates that the brutal cold of the winter is coming to an end, and warm sunny days are arriving.
Days of the festival
The festival of Lohri falling a day before Makar Sankranti is a famous harvest festival celebrated mainly in the northern states of India, like Punjab and Haryana, with great zeal. Honouring the end of the autumn season and the gruelling winters, Lohri ushers in a new beginning for many
Around the time of Sankranti, the farmers in the North Indian states awaited the rabi crops’ harvest. Hence it is also considered the winter crop season festival. Lohri celebrations in Punjab mark the end of the sun’s southward movement.
On the day of Sankranti, the sun begins travelling towards the northwest.
Rituals of the Festival
- Lohri festival is a day of fun and joy for all. Individuals collect wood and timber to burn the bonfire for Lohri, and they start weeks back.
- Lohri is quite a significant festival for Punjabis. It is a joyous festival that brings communities together, and each family contributes confectionaries made of til and gur, peanuts, tolichowki, and many other delicious homemade treats.
- Unique delicacies and desserts are prepared and savoured with family members and friends.
- People consider fire the Sun God and bring success and happiness into the family for the upcoming year. It can stimulate the growth of cornfields and the well-being of man and animals.
- When the sun transits, the zodiac sign Capricorn moves towards the north, it is time. In astrological terms, this festival aspect is referred to as the sun becoming Uttarayan.
- To ward off the brutal cold chills of winter, people light bonfires, dance around it in a mood of fun and enjoyment, and celebrate the festival of Lohri.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do we celebrate Lohri?
Answer: Lohri is a celebration of joy and recreation that observes the passing of the Winter Solstice and looks ahead to longer days as the sun travels towards the northern hemisphere. The festival marks the essence of the solar calendar with the Bikrami calendar.
Q: When is Lohri celebrated?
Answer: Lohri is essentially celebrated during the solar month of the Bikrami calendar. It is celebrated right before the night of Makar Sankranti. It falls around the 13th of January of the Gregorian Calendar.
Q: Which state did Lohri originate in?
Answer: Lohri was primarily originated by the Sikhs and Hindus of Punjab in India.
Q: What do we do on Lohri?
Answer: Singing and dancing form an inherent part of the celebrations. Individuals wear their most lovely clothes and come to dance the bhangra and gidda to the beat of the dhol.
Q: What is the significance of Lohri?
Answer: Punjabi Lohri is a traditional regional festival celebrated in India, specifically in the North zone of Punjab. Punjabi Lohri is a festival and tradition of joy that commemorates the passing of the Winter Solstice and looks forward to longer days as the sun travels towards the northern hemisphere.
Q: What is the famous food for Lohri?
Answer: Lohri food like Makki ki roti is paired with Sarson da saag, atta ladoo, gur ki gajak, and Dahi Bhalla. Such lohri festival food is delicious and is consumed by everyone.
Q: What is the story behind the Lohri celebration?
Answer: As per folklore, Lohri was initially celebrated at the end of the month when winter solstice occurred in ancient times. It marks the days being much longer as the sun moves on its northward journey. Folklore believes Lohri is celebrated on the final days of the traditional month, which portrayed the winter solstice during ancient times.
Q: Why is it called Lohri?
Answer: The name ‘Lohri’ has a fascinating meaning as it is clubbed, combining the two words ’til’ and ‘rohri’ sounding ’tilohri,’ which eventually caught the name ‘Lohri.’ Til refers to sesame and rorhi refers to jaggery, a delicacy that is devoured during Punjabi Lohri.
The Lohri celebration was initially called Tilohri. Across India, it is also celebrated regionally like Sankranti, uttarayan, Kicheri, Makar Sankranti, Magh Bihu, Posh Parbon, and Pongal.
Q: When is Lohri 2022?
Answer: Lohri festival 2022 is likely to be on the 13th of January.
Navneet Kaur is a Professional Content Writer with 5+ years of experience, she started her career as a Content Writer. Apart from having good knowledge of marketing and business, she firmly believes in dreaming big and making them come true. She lives with a passion to explore and learn about adventure, destinations, history and live events happening around. Including her travel writing skills, she has also written about places, arts and entertainment, personal experiences, nature and its beauty, etc.