By: Manmeet Kaur
Lohri is a festival that brings with it happiness, fun
This vibrant Punjabi festival is celebrated on 13th January every year around the harvest season. Therefore it is also known as the ‘Harvest festival’. The festival is celebrated in Northern India and it is of great significance for the harvest of Rabi crop. It is believed that this celebration brings prosperity to the family.
Here are a few interesting things about this festival -
- As per the Hindu calendar, Lohri falls on the last day of the Paush month which also marks the end of the cold winters and the commencing of the Magha month. It is the time of the
year,when the sun changes its path.
- Some legends say that Holika and Lohri were sisters and while Holika burnt in the Holi fire and perished, Lohri survived. It is also said that eating of jaggery (rorhi) and sesame seeds (til) is a custom followed for years. Popcorns and nuts are also eaten and offered in the holy fire.
- It is a day full of excitement for the children. They all collect together and go from house to house while shouting “Ek do Lohri do, Zyada
nahito thodido” which means give us pocket money, if not much, give us some. They also ask for eatables like til, Jaggery, Gajak or rewri.
- The day of the festival is one of the most auspicious days of the year for the Sikh community. It is considered as the financial New Year of Sikh’s and Punjabi’s.
- On the day of Lohri, people light a borne fire and come together to celebrate the day. Everyone takes parikrama around the holy fire and throw popcorn, puffed rice
andnuts in the fire. While taking the parikarmathey pray “Aadar aye dilather jaye” which means ‘May honor be ours and let poverty vanish’.
- After the Parikarma, men and women enjoy,
menperform Bhangra (Punjabi Dance form) while women perform ‘gidda’ ( in this dance form women dance and sing at the same time in Punjabi).
- The festival is of great importance for the newlywed couple and a newborn. The festival marks an auspicious beginning to their new life. The couple and the families pray together for a happy life ahead.
GenerallyPunjabi families prepare ‘sarson da saag’ and ‘makki di roti’ on this day. ‘Til rice’ made with jaggery, sesame seeds andrice are also made as a tradition.
- The Bollywood has also made many films with Lohri songs in it. Like the movie ‘Veer Zaara,
staringShah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan andHema Malini. But the regional songs have a different flavor to it. You will witness them in various Punjabi families on Lohri, specifically in the villages of Punjab.