Lohri is one of the
main festivals celebrated by Punjabis. The celebration of Lohri festival
is grand in the Punjabi family if there is a newly married couple or a
new born baby in that family. Read on to know more about the
significance, celebration and tradition of Lohri Festival.
Lohri is a festival that is mainly celebrated in North India and it is the most awaited festival there. It is celebrated the night before January 14 and is also known as the bonfire festival. January is the time when the entire north India is suffering from severe cold waves and the temperature drops down extremely. But the enthusiasm and the preparation of Lohri festival is admirable and appreciable.
Significance of Lohri
Wheat is the major crop grown in this part of India and this is sown in October. In January the harvest is in its full boom and one can easily calculate that the harvest is golden. This is almost the rest period when the sowing is over and cutting is awaited, the people of Punjab celebrate Lohri. This is the festival usually associated with rejoicing and merry making and people eat and dance around the bonfire.
Also, the mid of January is considered as a point of time when the coldest month of the year comes to an end and this is according to the Hindu calendar. Lohri has no religious significance as such but people take bath in the morning and go to the Gurdwara and attend the special prayer and songs held there. This festival has its social implication and so people gather and rejoice together.
This is how Lohri is celebrated by Punjabis.
Gathering with Family and Friends
Since Lohri is a festival of joy and merry making, all the members of the family gather around the bonfire and the ritual starts when they make a circle around the fire. All of the members revolve round and they offer five edible things to fire while doing this. This is done with the intention that richness will arrive in the house and poverty or any kind of scarcity will vanish.
Making Offerings to Born Fire
Only when the offerings to the bonfire is completed, people rejoice, do Bhangra that is the folk dance of Punjab and eat and offer sweets to guests and all around. If there is a newly wed couple or a new born baby in the house, the festival is grand and some organize dance and party too.
Serving Prasad to Everyone
The Prasad that is served after the offerings to the bonfire consists of peanuts, corn flakes, Til, Gajak and jaggary. Nowadays people offer sweets to their guests on this occasion. Dancing and rejoicing often continues till late night. The whole environment gets filled with song and beatings of drums.
Traditionally Bhangra dance was meant for men and women used to perform Gidda dance. Also, initially that was done within the courtyard where they had a separate gathering of only women. But times have changed and now men and women celebrate and rejoice together and the entire family is normally around. Lohri is mainly worshipping the Sun God and the God of Fire.
In fact the festival on January 14 is celebrated by all Hindus in India under different names like Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Uttarayan. Lohri is an opportunity for people to meet each other and increase their social activities. It is also a time to go back home for those who live far away.
No matter whether it is Lohri in Punjab or Uttarayan in Gujarat, the message conveyed is same and that is about oneness, unity and everyone celebrates the spirit of brotherhood. While doing this entire people always thank God first for everything that the almighty has showered on them and their families.