People of Punjab celebrate Lohri with great enthusiasm every year on 13 January. It is believed that the festival is celebrated on the day when the days start getting shorter and the nights get longer. The festival is celebrated as a harvest festival and on this day people burn, sing and dance with bonfire in honor of Dulari Batti.
Although it is a major festival of Punjabis, some northern states of India also celebrate this festival, which includes Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. The people of Sindhi community celebrate this festival as “Lal Loi”. Punjabi people living in different corners of the world also celebrate Lohri with the same enthusiasm.
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Here are some short essays on Lohri which will teach our readers various aspects of Lohri festival:
The reason Behind Celebrating Lohri
There are many perceptions about celebrating Lohri festival in Punjab, some of which include:
- The word Lohri is believed to have been derived from “Loi”, who was the wife of the great sage Kabir.
- While some believe that the term originated from “loh”, which is used to make chapatis.
- In some parts of the state, people also believe that the name of the festival originated from the name of Holika’s sister, who survived the fire while Holika died.
- Apart from this, some people also believe that the word Lohri originated from the word Tilori which comes from the combination of the words Rori and Sesame.
This festival is celebrated by different names in different parts of the country and people eagerly wait for this day. In Andhra Pradesh it is celebrated as Bhogi. Similarly in Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, this festival is celebrated as Magh Bihu, Pongal and Tai Pongal respectively. On the other hand, people of UP and Bihar call it the festival of Makar Sankranti.
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How is Lohri celebrated?
People of India celebrate Lohri with joy and happiness like many other festivals. It is one of those festivals that gives family and friends the opportunity to gather together and spend some quality time. People visit Lohri with their friends and family and distribute sweets. This festival is especially important for farmers as it is considered the harvest season. People celebrate by lighting the bonfire and dancing and singing around the bonfire. People throw popcorn, jaggery, revdi, sugar-candy and sesame while singing and dancing around the fire.
On this day, a puja ceremony is held in every house in the evening. This is the time when people get blessings from the Almighty by doing circumambulation and offering prayers. According to customs, on this day people eat foods like mustard greens, jaggery, gajak, sesame, groundnut, flower and prasad with maize bread. Apart from this, people also wear new clothes on this day and perform Bhangra which is a folk dance of Punjab. For farmers, this day marks the beginning of a new financial year.
This festival is also very important for newly married couples and newborns. On this day, newly married brides receive gifts from all the family members and they are all wearing jewelry that the bride usually wears on her wedding day.
Modern day Lohri Festival
Earlier people celebrated Lohri by gajak gifting to each other, while the contemporary world is slowly changing and people prefer to gift chocolate and cake instead of gajak. People have become more aware of the growing threat to the environment with increasing pollution agents and prefer not to burn bonfire. People avoid cutting down more trees to burn the bonfire on Lohri. Instead, they celebrate Lohri by planting more and more trees so that they can contribute to environmental protection in the long run.