Lohri is a popular Punjabi festival, celebrated by people from the Punjab region of South Asia. The origins of Lohri are many and link the festival to Punjab region. Many people believe the festival was originally celebrated on winter solstice day, being the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
Here Are Some Interesting Facts About This Amazing Festival- Lohri:
- Lohri is dedicated to fire and the Sun God: A festival essentially dedicated to the fire and the sun God, Lohri is associated with the concept of life and health in the Hindu religion. On the one hand it represents the sun with the rays and on the other gold. During this time the sun transits from the zodiac sign Capricorn and moves north. This new configuration lessens the impact of winter, replenishing its warmth. The bon fire is also lit to ward off the cold winds and welcome the spring warmth. This is the reason why the bonfire is worshipped and venerated as a deity. People propitiate the fire by offering peanuts, popcorn, and sweets.
- Origin of the word Lohri – introspecting numerous theories: There are various stories that direct us to the origin of the word “Lohri.” Some believe that the festival got its title from the wife of Sant Kabir called Loi whereas, some stories state that the name of this festival was developed from til and rohri (til & rohri shortened as Lohri) which are considered as an important part of the sweet dishes on this day. According to the Hindu mythology, Lohri was the sister of Holika who survived with Parladh. The word Lohri is also believed to have an origin from the word regional word loh which means warmth and light of fire.
- The tale of Dulla Bhatti and its connection with Lohri: The festival of Lohri is often related to the legend of Dulla Bhatti who was a heroic character during the Mughal Empire. As the Robin Hood of Punjab province, Dulla once rescued a young from kidnapers and adopted the girl as her daughter and made all possible formalities for her marriage. Similar to this, there were several other incidents that described the great heroic character of Dulla Bhatti. In the present times, the festival of Lohri is celebrated in honor of Dulla Bhatti with folk songs describing his brave saga.
- Ceremonies: Ceremonies that go with the festival of Lohri usually comprises of making a small image of the Lohri goddess with gobar (cattle dung), decorating it, kindling a fire beneath it and chanting its praises. The final ceremony is to light a large bonfire at sunset, toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries in it, sit round it, sing, and dance till the fire dies out. People take dying embers of the fire to their homes. In Punjabi village homes, fire is kept going round the clock by use of cow-dung cakes.
- New Bride Lohri – the bride brings with her promise of success and prosperity: Especially in North India, the first Lohri a bride celebrates with her husband’s family is considered very special. Her presence makes the occasion more majestic with bridal dressing as she accompanies her husband who is dressed in colorful turban (of course if he’s a Serd). The newlywed couple is the center of attraction and is gifted with clothes and jewelry from their in-laws. Receiving blessing from elders, the new bride promises to bring success and prosperity to her new family. As a new member of the family, the new bride performs gidda (a traditional female dance of Punjab) with her in-laws around the bon fire.