Lohri is important in the Punjabi state where wheat is a vital winter crop that is cultivated in October and harvested in March or April. It reaches its height in January when the fields turn entirely gold. Because of this, farmers observe the Lohri celebration just before harvesting and gathering the crops. These are the significance of Lohri. People honour the Sun and the fire and express gratitude for the bumper crop. Every community celebrates the day under a different name.
Additionally, there is more significance of Lohri. The holiday of Lohri is celebrated to mark the conclusion of the winter solstice and the Sun's progress into the northern hemisphere, which causes the lengthening of the day and the shortening of the night. During Lohri, farmers commemorate the harvest of their rabi crops by lighting bonfires and throwing puffed rice. In honour of the iciest months of the year, the earth begins its trek toward the Sun at this time.
The reasons why we celebrate Lohri are based on a variety of ideologies. Dulla Bhatti is connected to the main Lohri narrative. Legend has it that Dulla Bhatti, who once resided in the Mughal district of Punjab, gained notoriety as a daring man who saved Hindu girls Sundri and Mundri from being forcibly transported as enslaved people from the Sandal Bar region to the Middle Eastern markets. Punjabi folk melodies have made these females and Dulla Bhatti their central characters.
Another history of Lohri centres on the wife of Saint Kabir, "Loi," and some people assume that this is where Lohri got its name. However, many others believe that the festival got its name from the word "Loh," which means warmth and light. Another theory holds that Lohr and Holika were sisters, with Lohr surviving the fire while Holika perished.
Wheat, Punjab's winter crop, reaches its peak in January and is later harvested in March, a few weeks after the Rabi crop has been harvested. Another noteworthy belief is that this day marks the Sun's entry into the lucky zodiac sign of Capricorn. The celebration is referred to as "Makar Sankranti" for this reason.
Now, let us discuss how Lohri is celebrated. During the holiday, bonfires are lit, festive food is consumed, dancing is done, and gifts are exchanged. In houses where a recent marriage or baby occurred, the excitement level of Lohri celebrations will increase. The majority of North Indians typically celebrate Lohri in privacy at home. Rituals for Lohri are carried out as unique Lohri songs are played.
Dance and singing are essential components of the festivities. People gather to dance the gidda and bhangra to the sound of the dhol in their brightest attire. Everyone is joyful as Punjabi music is played. Sarson da saag and Makki di roti are frequently served as the main course at Lohri dinners. For farmers, Lohri is a wonderful holiday that has significant significance. However, Lohri is also celebrated by those who live in cities because it gives them a chance to spend time with their loved ones.
A bonfire is lit to honour Lohri. A long-standing custom of this winter holiday is the burning of bonfires. When longer days started to return, ancient humans lighted a bonfire to celebrate. It's an ancient custom.
Eating roasted cobs of fresh corn from the harvest is a traditional Punjabi Lohri celebration tradition. The sugarcane harvest starts in January with the Lohri festival. Nuts gathered in January and sugarcane products like gurh, and gachak are essential to Lohri celebrations. Radish, which can be picked between October and January, is Lohri's other significant food item. Due to the crop's suitability for agro-climatic conditions, mustard greens are primarily grown in the winter.
Because of extra customs like Chajja making and dancing, the Hiran Dance, and manufacturing Lohri garlands, Lohri is unique to Jammu. Young children create a Chajja, or miniature peacock, for display. They move from one house to the next while celebrating Lohri while carrying this Chajja. The distinctive Hiran Dance is practised in and around Jammu. Food is prepared in a few chosen homes for significant rituals. On Lohri Day, children don distinctive garlands composed of groundnuts, dry fruits, and candy. In online Hindi classes, they teach about Lohri, and it's significance.
Groups of young children and teenagers go about the neighbourhood gathering wood for the Lohri bonfire about 10 to 15 days before the festival. In other regions, they also gather things like grains and jaggery, which they then sell and split the revenue with the group.
Boys choose a group member to have ash applied to his face and have a rope tied around his waist as part of a typical "trick or treat" activity in various areas of Punjab. The goal is for the chosen individual to warn those who choose not to provide Lohri gifts. The boys will recite Lohri songs while requesting Lohri gifts. If insufficient supplies are provided, the householder will have the choice of making further contributions or having the rope unfastened. The boy will attempt to break into the house while wearing makeup and shatter clay pots or the clay stove if not enough is offered.
Children visit homes during the day, singing songs and receiving treats like candy, savoury snacks, and occasionally money. Giving them nothing in return is said to be unlucky. The demand for snacks rises when families greet newlyweds and newborns.
Then, throughout the holiday, Lohri is distributed at night. Food products like popcorn, peanuts, and others are also tossed into the fire.
Now that you know, you can enjoy yourself immensely during the Happy Lohri celebration, one of the most important festivals in the Punjabi culture. However, Lohri is a part of general knowledge you should know about. You can take enrollment in Online tuition classes to learn more about Lohri. Punjabis pray to god for the abolition of all evil and other destructive forces, and they kindle bonfires to bring prosperity.