Lohri 2022: History, importance and significance of the Lohri Festival in Punjab

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Lohri 2022: History, importance and significance of the Lohri Festival in Punjab
Posted Date: 10/01/2022 16:59:31 Posted By: Sikh Tours

According to the Indian calendar, the Lohri Festival in Punjab falls on the month of Pausha (Poh, in Punjabi), followed by the Makar Sankranti, also known as Kite Festival. Lohri marks the end of winter transition and the starting of long days and short nights. But, why do we celebrate the Lohri festival? We, Being the Best Tour and Travel Company in India, have put forward a complete ‘What, When, Why, and How’ of the Lohri festival. Read on to this blog to get answers to all of your questions related to Lohri.

What is the Significance of Lohri?

For the people of Punjab, the Lohri Festival is significant as it marks the beginning of the state's Rabi harvest season and the end of winter.     

The Lohri Festival, celebrated mainly by Sikhs and Hindus throughout India, marks the end of the winter season and is traditionally considered the greeting of the sun in the Northern Hemisphere. The Lohri Festival falls the day before Makar Sankranti (January 14). To be known as a famous harvest festival, it is celebrated with great zeal, especially in the northern states of India such as Punjab and Haryana. From Pongal in southern India and Bihu in Assam to Sankranti in central India, the Lohri harvest festival is celebrated throughout the country in various forms. It is as much a sign of respect and recognition for farmers as the celebration of the year of bountiful and prosperous harvest that is celebrated at the Lohri Festival.     

The bonfire harvest festival of Punjab State-Lohri that is celebrated in the Magha month, indicates a new beginning. 

What is Makar Sankranti?

Makar Sankranti is simply the beginning of the ‘Maghi’ month that is observed on the day after Lohri. States like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, etc. celebrate Pongal on this day. Lohri in northern India coincides with various other festivals in different states such as Bengal. This event is called Makar Sankranti, celebrated every year on January 14, Magha Bihu in Assam and Tai (Thai) Pongal in Kerala. 

Why People Celebrate Lohri Festival in Punjab?

The Lohri Festival is mainly celebrated in Punjab, Haryana, Jammu, and Himachal Pradesh, every year on January 13th (Gregorian calendar) with great fanfare.     

Lohri is a popular winter folklore festival that is celebrated particularly in Punjab. Lohri is the first Indian celebration and celebration of the sunny New Year. Lohri is the first rich and varied festival in India, which is celebrated with great pomp and energy. In northern India, and mainly in Punjab, this harvest festival begins with an anniversary celebration of appreciation to the farmers for their hard work and the work that allows us to live a prosperous life.     

In Punjab which is known as India's most fertile belt, people celebrate the sugarcane harvest on Lohri. Also harvested are sesame seeds, palm sugar, radishes, mustard and spinach, which are the main attractions of the holiday.     lohri celebration

How Lohri is Celebrated?

In addition to harvesting various crops in the villages of Punjab on Lohri day, it is customary to eat Gajak, Sarson da saag and Makki di Roti. Unlike most festivals in India, where people go to visit relatives and friends and distribute sweets, etc., at Lohri festivals, people gather in a commonplace and make a huge bonfire with various types of sweet delicacies on display. On this day, people put Til (black sesame seeds), Gajak, Peanuts (Groundnuts), Gur (jaggery), and Popcorn on the fire. To prevent the severe winter cold, people light bonfires, dance in a cheerful mood and celebrate the Lohri festival. 

What is the Importance of Lohri in the different Indian States?

People glorify Lohri to pay tribute to Surya (the Sun God) for honouring everyone with his presence and for an unprecedented harvest. Lohri is also an auspicious occasion to celebrate the birth of a child or a new bride in the family.     

One of the first Hindu festivals of the year is defined as a holiday of the peasants, a harvest festival during which peasants can thank the Almighty. On the occasion of Lohri people enjoy sharing the joy of contemplating the rabbi-like sparkling pearls harvest among traditional food, folk songs, and dances. In Punjab, people celebrate the harvest festival in the name of Lohri, but throughout India, Lohri celebrations take different forms. In Maharashtra, Lohri is celebrated as the Khadaga festival, when people pray for heavy rains and bountiful harvests.     

On the day of Lohri, farmers pray and express gratitude towards God for their harvest before the harvest begins. They pray to the Lord of Fire (Agnidev) to bless their land with abundance. This holiday marks the harvest of Rabbi, and therefore all the farmers receive such a wonderful harvest to thank God together. The festival of harvesting, kites, celebration and much more i.e. Lohri encourages people to be grateful for God, to celebrate His great creation and His focus on Agriculture.     

When is Lohri Celebrated?

The traditional harvest time for sugarcane is January, which is why some believe that Lohri is a festival of harvesting. Most farmers in Punjab consider the day after Lohri to be the start of a new fiscal year.     

Not only in Punjab, but in other places as well, people celebrate the burning of firewood and play songs on the DJs and then dance. Lohri heralds the start of happy sunny days. So, as you can see, Lohri is a great way to commence the whole all-new year-with friendly get-togethers, celebrations and having fun with others. Thus, Lohri is a public holiday that is always celebrated on January 13, every year, with meetings with neighbours and relatives. And, this year too Lohri 2022 will fall on January 13 on Thursday.

Lohri is usually celebrated as Makar Sankranti throughout the country at the end of the month of Pausch. The festival symbolizes the end of winter and the start of the harvest season. 

What is the history and Belief of Lohri?

In Punjabi Folk Tradition, it is believed that the origin of Lohri is traced from the time when Dulla Bhatti, a legendary Punjabi hero and known as Robinhood of that era, rescued two innocent Brahmin girls Sundri and Mundri from the clutches of emperor Akbar. In this way, Dulla Bhatti, becoming the godfather of these sisters, is believed to have married them off on the occasion of Lohri with much pomp & festivity. This directly challenged the authority of the emperor Akbar.

What are the Costumes and Traditions Related to Lohri Festival?

The tale of Sunder Munderiye is enshrined in folk poetry that is sung during the winter festival of Lohri. Furthermore, this tale is sung during the Lohri celebration. Being a Robinhood-type figure of the 16th century, Bhatti used to rob the rich and give to the poor. It is in this way, some say the custom of children going door-to-door and singing the Lohri Song including Suner Munderiye and a few more verses in praise of Dulla Bhatti or other traditional Lohri songs, te get treats for Lohri is in honour of Dulla Bhatti who gave his robbed things and money to the less fortunate.

The tale of Sunder Munderiye is sung as below where the initial lines are sung by a lead of the group and the group follows him/her: 

ਸੁੰਦਰ ਮੁੰਦਰੀਏ, ਹੋ,

ਤੇਰਾ ਕੌਣ ਵਿਚਾਰਾ, ਹੋ,

ਦੁੱਲਾ ਭੱਟੀ ਵਾਲਾ, ਹੋ,

ਦੁੱਲੇ ਧੀ ਵਿਆਹੀ, ਹੋ 

ਸੇਰ ਸ਼ੱਕਰ ਪਾਈ, ਹੋ,

ਕੁੜੀ ਦਾ ਲਾਲ ਪਟਾਕਾ, ਹੋ,

ਕੁੜੀ ਦਾ ਸਾਲੂ ਪਾਟਾ, ਹੋ,

ਸਾਲੂ ਕੌਣ ਸਮੇਟੇ, ਹੋ,

ਚਾਚੇ ਚੂਰੀ ਕੁੱਟੀ, ਹੋ,

ਜ਼ੀਮੀਦਾਰਾਂ ਲੁੱਟੀ, ਹੋ,

ਗਿਣ-ਗਿਣ ਭੋਲੇ ਆਏ, ਹੋ,

ਇਕ ਭੋਲਾ ਰਹਿ ਗਿਆ, ਹੋ,

ਸਿਪਾਹੀ ਫੜ੍ਹ ਕੇ ਲੈ ਗਿਆ, ਹੋ,

ਸਿਪਾਹੀ ਨੇ ਮਾਰੀ ਇੱਟ,ਹੋ,

ਸਾਨੂੰ ਦੇ ਲੋਹੜੀ, 

ਤੇਰੀ ਜੀਵੇ ਜੋੜੀ।

It is also observed that on the night of Lohri i.e. the end of Pausha or Poh month, people make Kheer (the rice pudding) with Sugarcane Juice and eat on the next day. This is said to be ‘Poh Ridhi, Magh Khaadi (ਪੋਹ ਰਿੱਧੀ, ਮਾਘ ਖਾਧੀ)’, meaning that, ‘Made on Pausha, and Eaten on Maghi’. Such customs associated with Lohri Festival in Punjab are really amazing and hold great importance in people’s lives. 

So, now you have the answer to why we celebrate the Lohri festival, what is the significance of Lohri and the related customs. Hence, it’s time to explore the Golden Temple Tour Packages of Best Tour and Travel Company in India to travel to Punjab for celebrating such a great festival of the winter season with enthusiastic Punjabis.