There are many religions around the globe. Each of those religions has specific festivals related to their history. The first festival that is celebrated by Hindus at the beginning of the year is Lohri. It is the most famous festival in India. It is observed to celebrate the harvest of Rabi crops at the end of the winter solstice. Happy Lohri festival is celebrated on the 13th of January with full dedication and enthusiasm.
Lohri festival is mostly about great food, dancing, and singing around a bonfire, and exchanging food baskets or sweets among one another. People get together and enjoy this day to the fullest. However, it does hold an important and deeper meaning. The reason why people celebrate it is to pay thanks to their Lord almighty and praise the deity.
Individuals are full of passion and gratitude; hence, they dance on drums’ beats and enjoy delicious feasts. This festival emerged from Punjab and is mainly commemorated in Northern India like Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab.
Other names also know it in other regions of the country, such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, and Tai Pongal in Kerala.
This day marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring season. It marks the end of the sowing season and inception of the farming season.
This festival is also referred, to as the harvest festival. People are thankful to God for Harvesting the Rabi crops, and throughout the day, they dance, sing folk songs with zeal, and share delectables. After the Singing, and Dancing ritual, dinner is served. Foods like mustard leaves, sesame, whole wheat, and spinach are vital parts of the Lohri festival. Locals also give Happy Lohri Wishes to each other and hope to be blessed with Happiness, and Prosperity.
Meaning of the Word
The word Lohri is derived from Tilohri. Til means sesame, and more mean jaggery or gur. This makes up the name Lohri. People eventually referred to the festival just by using the word Lohri. According to their beliefs, it is said that both these food ingredients purify the body and bring new power for the new year. That is why they also offer these ingredients, i.e., til chikki, puffed rice, popcorns, jaggery, and gajak to the fire, which symbolizes Agni, the god of fire.
They believe by offering these items in sparkling flames, and they impress their Gods. Hence, they afterward seek blessings and pray for themselves and their family. They keep throwing the ingredient to make the fire bigger because the more significant the fire, the more blessings will come. They hope that they spent a Happy Lohri all together with one another.
Significance of the Rituals
Lohri is celebrated the night before the big festival, Makar Sankranti. Both Hindus and Sikhs communities honor the Sun God and winter harvest season. All farms pay their gratitude and Lohri wishes and then seek blessings from the almighty.
As per their tradition, the flames of the fire carry to their God of Sun. He then grants their wishes and makes the next day bright and sunny, and puts an end to the gloomy, chilly winters. People are hopeful that bright good days await them.
Many people consider this day more blessed for newly married couples or people who are endowed with newborns. They believe all the Evils come to an end, and blessings are all around them. Families conduct prayers, and through that, they infuse purity in their households.
Moreover, nowadays, many people who use the internet search for happy Lohri wishes and send them to their beloved ones.
The history behind this festival is associated with a man named Dulha Bhatti. He is also regarded as Robinhood. He is the legendary figure and hero of this festival. Bhatti was a thief who used to help the impoverished community and fought for their rights in the Reign of Emperor Akbar.
He used to loot the wealthy imperial officers and then disturb the obtained money among the needy people. He came to be a living epitome of the polite and socio-cultural personality of the entire nation.
Moreover, he believed that he saved the prestige of an innocent girl whose modesty was abducted by a wealthy landlord. She was supposed to become a slave. But Dullah saved this girl, adopted her, and later arranged her marriage to a boy. As there was no priest available and sang the Vedic hymns, Dullah himself, Lit a fire, and sang some verses. The verses were:
Sunder Mundriye Tera Kaun Vichara
Dullah Bhatti Wala Ho
Dullaeh Di Teeh Viahi Ho
Ser Shakar Payi
The groom and bride took phera around the bonfire while these funny verses were being chanted and tied the knot in marriage. To date, people and children sing this hilarious song with full energy and enjoy themselves. This song is known as Lohri Song. Without this song, the festival would seem desolate. Songs are a must.
Unusual Trick or Treat Tradition
Ten to fifteen days before Lohri Day, several teenage young girls and boys roam around the area and collect wood logs for the Lohri bonfire. They also collect grains, Gur. Later, they sell it and disturb the money among one another.
Boys observe another unique and strange activity. This boy is supposed to act as a deterrent for people who refuse to give them Lohri items.
Then this group of boys goes house to house, singing Lohri wishes or songs and asking for the ingredients. If a family refuses, they give them a request to give them and slightly loosen the room. If they don’t receive anything, then the rope is loosened entirely. The smears boy tries to enter the house and smashes the clay pots or clay stove present in the house.
Happy Lohri Wishes – Conclusion
This day holds immense importance to the Hindi and Sikh community. They observe this day with full zeal and enthusiasm. They are filled with passion and take part in every ritual and activity. All of the people also love uttering Lohri’s wishes to each other.
This day is mainly for farms and agriculturists. They hope that the next harvest season will bring more blessings, and the crops will fulfill their house with prosperity. They pay tribute to the God Of sun, Surya, and pray to him. The entire land is blessed by the mercy of The God of the sun and the chilly, gloomy cold days come to an end.