What is Lohri festival?

The festival of Lohari has a cultural and agricultural significance that holds great importance in traditional Punjabi culture. This festival is mainly celebrated in the northern regions, especially in Punjab. The festival of Lohri is mainly celebrated in the month of January, which marks the end of the winter season. Unlike any other festival in India, Lohri is not a festival that is celebrated in the name of any deity, but it is mainly known as the harvest festival. The festival of Lohri is specially celebrated to honour respect and gratitude to the farmers.

Moreover, the main aspect of the Lohri festival celebration is the lighting of a bonfire that is celebrated in the name of Agni, the fire god and Surya, the sun god. Moreover, this festival also includes the charitable aspects where people collect food, clothes and daily necessities and distribute them among the less fortunate people. Furthermore, the Lohri festival in 2023 was held on January 14th. So, if you missed the harvest festival of Lohri, you'll have to wait until 2024, for which it will be celebrated on January 13th.

What is the story behind Lohri?

Along with the Lohri being celebrated as an end to the winter season or worshipping the sun and fire god, there is also one story that makes the festival of Lohri more interesting and exciting. The story of the legend Dulla Bhatti. The story of Dulla Bhatti, which includes the two young girls, Sundari and Mundari, harbours significance in the celebration of Lohri. As the folk song is recited, these names have been narrated to remind about the story behind the celebration of Lohri.

Furthermore, the celebration of the Punjabi festival Lohri was started by the legendary Dulla Bhatti, who was there during Emperor Akbar in the 16th century. He was a kind of saviour during those times because he was known for his fearless attitude. Dulla Bhatti was a very generous man who saved young girls from being kidnapped and sold in the Middle East. He used to rescue those girls who used to be poor. He used to get them married to a well-settled man.

So the story of Dulla Bhatti started when he rescued the two girls, Sundari and Mundari and helped them with their daily necessities. Later on, he got them married to a nice Hindu family, ensuring their happiness and well-being. So, the folk songs of the festival of Lohri link the names of this legend to honour his respect and gratitude for the care of those poor girls.

What is the Significance of Lohri?

The festival of Lohri is celebrated as a social and cultural gathering where all the families and friends come together to celebrate the harvest season. This festival is celebrated as a season of fertility and new beginnings. This festival is celebrated to honour the agricultural community who works hard to grow crops and pays tribute to nature's abundance. During this festival, all the people gather by wearing new attire and preparing traditional dishes to make the celebration memorable. Before the celebration begins, people collect dried leaves and twigs for the bonfire.

Moreover, this festival is celebrated in a traditional Punjabi way where people play drums and dhols to add joy and excitement to the celebration. Additionally, during this festival, people collect their old clothes and daily necessities to offer to the underprivileged children as a charity so that they can be a part of the contribution. Moreover, all the farmers and agricultural members gather together to thank and pay gratitude to the Surya God and Agni God for the wonderful harvest.

What are the Rituals and Remedies involved in Lohri?

Some of the main rituals and remedies observed on the day of the Lohri celebration to make the celebration more exciting and filled with zeal and enthusiasm are mentioned below. Read below to learn about the important rituals and remedies of the Punjabi festival Lohri.

Lohri Rituals

  • Firstly, before the celebration of Lohri starts, people take a dip in the holy water to cleanse all their impurities.
  • On the main day of Lohri, a bonfire is held, so people collect sticks, clothes and fried leaves to burn.
  • Offerings are made to the bonfire by chanting traditional prayers and singing folk songs.
  • Offerings like sesame seed, Jaggery, peanuts, and popcorn are burned during the bonfire as a thanksgiving to the farmers and agricultural workers.
  • Prasad is distributed among the people from the bonfire, which is considered to bring luck and prosperity.
  • On the auspicious event of the Lohri, families and friends exchange gifts as a blessing. Moreover, especially the married couples are presented gifts and blessings by the elderly people in the family.
  • All the people come together to sing and dance to traditional folk songs. Moreover, Bhangra and Gidda are the most important folk dances performed to add zeal and enthusiasm to the celebration.

Lohri Remedies

  • Distributing Til (Sesame) and Gur (Jaggery) to all the family members and relatives is essential to gain luck and abundance.
  • You must not waste food during the festival of Lohri because it is a harvest festival where people pray for food grains.
  • During Lohri Puja, you can chant the mantra 'ॐ श्री सुर्याय नमः' (Om Shri Suryaya Namah), asking for blessings from Sun God. However, chanting this mantra with faithfulness and focus can improve the spiritual significance of the puja.
  • Bonfires are significant during the festival of Lohri, so you must avoid doing any destructive or disrespectful activities around the fireplace.
  • On the auspicious day of Lohri, early morning, as the Sun is about to rise, offer water to Surya Dev that can invoke blessings and bring wealth.

Conclusion

As we come to an end, it’s essential to know the importance of the festivals you celebrate. So, if you are someone who is not aware of the significance of Lohri, its rituals, and the story behind the celebration, make sure to read about the significance, story and rituals involved in the celebration of the gowri festival.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Lohri is mainly celebrated in the northern parts of India, mainly Punjab. However, some parts of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu Kashmir also celebrate the festival of Lohri.
The festival of Lohri is not dedicated to any deity, but it's celebrated to honour gratitude to farmers. Moreover, this festival is celebrated to welcome the harvest season.
In 2023, the celebration of Lohri took place on January 14. In 2024, the festival of Lohri will take place on 13th January.
Unlike any other festival celebrated in India, Lohri is a harvest festival that is celebrated among the community members to welcome the harvest season.
The festival of Lohri is famous for its celebration at night by lighting a bonfire that marks the end of the winter season. Moreover, this special evening and the lighting of fire is known as 'Lohri di Mashaal'.
On the special day of Lohri, all the Punjabi friends and relatives gather to celebrate the festival of Lohri. On this day, people eat Makki ki Roti, Sarson ki saag, and Ladoo made out of jaggery, ghee and flour, which is named Atta Ldoo, Gur ki gajak and Dahi Bhalle.
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