Lohri is a festival that is celebrated on the last day of the Hindu month Paush and marks the beginning of longer days & shorter nights. According to the Gregorian calendar, almost every year Lohri is celebrated on 13th January, a day before Makar Sankranti. Lohri is not just a festival it is the time for a get-together with friends and relatives. The Lohri celebrations generally include a sacred bonfire, social gatherings, sweets, songs, Bhangra and Gidda dance. It has a great significance as it marks the end of winter days and harvest of the rabi crops.
Story & Significance of Lohri
Like all other Hindu festivals, there are several stories related to the Lohri. According to one of the stories the Lohri songs recall the bravery of the noble person named Dulla Bhatti. He was very brave and saved two girls named Sundri and Mundri from the Mughals. Not only did he saved the two girls but also took care of them like his own daughters.
The Lohri fire is considered sacred and a symbol of fertility & good luck. It is believed that Lohri is very auspicious for a newborn baby and a new bride. On this day people collect wood logs and fuel like dry cow dung to light a born fire. Til (sesame seeds), Moongphali (peanuts), Gur (jaggery) and flattened rice or popcorn are also an important part of the Lohri festivities. These things are offered to the bonfire to thank God for showering them with a good yield.
How Lohri is Celebrated?
During this day, people worship the God of the Fire and the Sun followed by the traditions and rituals. The festival begins with the children going around the neighbourhood singing Lohri songs. Everybody decorates their homes and prepare Makki ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag. After the preparations are done all the people are dressed up in traditional and colourful clothes. In the evening all the family members, relatives and friends gather encircling the Bonfire. Punjabi folksongs and Dhol beat persuade everyone to participate in dancing. The men perform Bhangra and the women perform Gidda.
The day after the Lohri is known as Maghi which is the beginning of the Magh month. On this day people prepare Kheer using the sugar cane juice. For Sikh people, this day is also a commemoration of a battle. The forty followers of Guru Gobind Singh Ji (the tenth Guru of Sikhism) who died guarding him are remembered on this day.
India is a country of many traditions, cultures and languages therefore Lohri is celebrated with diversity throughout the country. Lohri is marked with different names and rituals in different parts of the country. As we all know that no festival is completed without the exchange of gifts. Similarly in Lohri also people exchange happiness and greetings with their loved ones by giving and receiving gifts. If you are looking to buy Lohri gifts for your friends and family, check various Indian online shopping websites you will surely find some thoughtful gifts.