The most popular and colourful harvest festival of Punjab, known as ‘Lohri’, establishes brotherhood and prosperity. This festival epitomizes India’s rich tradition and custom that shoots from Agro-based culture found in our villages.
As per customary belief of the people and prevalent saying, Lohri festival came fetched the fame of popularity as winter solstice day since this is actually the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
The regions where it is celebrated: Punjab-Sindh, Jammu, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi.
Bonfire is the special attraction of this festival which proves the main theme of the eve, i.e. the winter solstice, the matter of enjoyment. It represents the return of longer days of the year after few months’ long winter span in India. The deity ‘fire’ is made appeased through the customary tradition of worshipping having burnt the bonfire and then, the harvested crops are offered to fire as religious ritual. ‘Fire’ signifies the end of sorrows and severity in which every plight and infliction regarding meet termination and hence, prosperity flourishes here, there everywhere.
All people hailing from Punjab origin celebrate this eve on the last day of the solstice month since Lohri has connection with the Bikrami calendar.
Harvest festival ‘Lohri’-the crop of season
Since food is the basic need of every creature residing on this green terra. Therefore, as being a festival of harvest, this eve is celebrated irrespective of any caste, creed, religion and state. Fire, wind, water and the earth are the basic elements those are given respect and honour through offering and prayers.
This is mainly celebrated at the end of Rabi season of harvesting crop. Peanuts, rewri, butter, flour and maize or corns are the crops those are offered to deity fire for thanking the god in return of his blessing in the form of good-harvest.
Financial New Year
All old journals relating to funds and loans are closed and new journals for bringing new financial accounts in the existence are maintained every year on this eve.
It is widespread tale belonging to the region of Punjab regarding a famous character called ‘Dulla Bhatti’-the braveheart and daring hero of the region. He used to rob the riches and dry off the wealth of the wealthy people. Alongside, he acted as the care-taker of girls’ honour by rescuing them from the clutch of wicked merchants of women slaves. He used to restore the respect and prestige of those women subjects by bringing them from the Sandal Bar of Middle East and used to arrange their marriages with the rituals and provisions required, such as dowry.
Thus, the song of ‘Dulla Bhatti’ is sung for gratifying his efforts requisite to accolades. Dulla was a rebellion belonging to Bhatti Rajput lineage.
Loi: As per locales’ belief, the word ‘Lohri’ is derived from the name ‘Loi’ who was the wife of Saint Kabir.
Loh: The literal meaning of ‘Lohri’ is warmth and heat of life blessing light (fire).
Celebration: The festival signifying joy and prosperity is celebrated with immense pleasure & merriment involving lots of dancing, singing and feasting. People seem busy in their preparations for it by wearing colourful pretty cloths. Women perform Gidda (folk dance) and men shake their legs on Bhangra beats and dhol.