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Lohri 2023: 5 Important Facts About Lohri - India’s Harvest Festival

As part of the harvest ritual in Lohri, foods such as til (black sesame seeds), gajak, gur (jaggery), peanuts, and popcorn are fed to the fire.

Shivam Dwivedi
Walking around the bonfire on Lohri helps bring prosperity
Walking around the bonfire on Lohri helps bring prosperity

One of the most celebrated festivals in Northern India is ‘Lohri.’ It is believed that the festival, which is observed with great fanfare and features colourfully attired locals singing and dancing to classic songs in good spirits, marks the beginning of the winter crop harvest season. Here are the top five things you should know about Lohri:

1. Historical Background of Lohri:

  • This festival's celebration is linked to well-known mythology. The story's protagonist is a dacoit named Dulla, who lives in Punjab's Mughal region. His bravery is admired because he was recognized for saving slave females. He was responsible for arranging the brides' marriages and saving the girls.

  • The Lohri festival honours Dulla Bhatti and his accomplishments and Sundri and Mundri. Folk songs were composed with the concept of folklore in mind. This theme can now be heard in folk songs celebrating the Lohri harvest festival.

  • Lohri is an indigenous ceremony that originated in the Himalayan foothills, where the winters are colder than the rest of the Arabian peninsula. To mark the beginning of the Rabi season, Hindus and Sikhs light bonfires in their yards, socialize around them, and perform songs and dances together throughout the week.

2. Reason Behind Keeping the Name ‘Lohri’:

  • Many people are unaware that the word Lohri is derived from the words 'til' (sesame) and 'rorhi' (jaggery/gur). The festival was eventually shortened to Lohri.

  • These food ingredients are thought to help cleanse the body, bringing renewed energy for the New Year. To express gratitude to nature, foods such as jaggery, gajak, and til ki chikki are offered to the fire.

3. Significance of Lohri Bonfire:

  • The most important symbol of Lohri, a festival that usually brings the entire neighbourhood together, is a bonfire. People gather around the sacred bonfire on Lohri night to seek its blessings, prosperity, and happiness. According to one belief system, Lohri is a tribute to Surya Dev (the Sun God) and the start of the harvest season.

  • However, some people worship Agni Dev (the God of fire). The Sun and fire both represent warmth and provide relief from the bone-chilling cold winter months. Furthermore, sunlight is critical in agriculture. As a result, the significance. People worship the deities and pray for a bountiful harvest.

4. Circumnavigating the Bonfire:

  • It is also believed that walking around the fire on Lohri helps bring prosperity. This festival is significant in Punjab for newlyweds.

  • Many devotees believe that their prayers and concerns will be answered immediately and that their lives will be filled with joy.

5. Enjoying Taste of Winter Foods:

The festival of Lohri would be incomplete without mentioning the winter foods cooked and eaten on this day. Sarson da saag and makki di roti, til ki barfi, gur ki roti, makhane ki kheer, panjiri, pinni, till laddoo, gondh laddoo, and other traditional Punjabi dishes are available on this day.

May this Lohri be auspicious & delightful for you! Wishing you & your family a joyous Lohri!

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