Hye steemitians !! This is my post lohri festival of India . I have shared some pictures of lohri celebration of my family where I was not , and I was feeling sad and missing my home badly ...missing the fun I used to with my siblings and the preparations done by us ....Below I have shared some details about lohri like why , how and when it was celebrated.
The harvest festival of Lohri is celebrated on the 13th day of the first month of the new year, according to Gregorian calendar.The festival of Lohri marks the starting of the harvest season and that calls for a celebration in many parts of northern India, especially in the region of Punjab in northern India. The onset of the harvest season in Punjab is marked by the festival of Lohri. The festival is celebrated by both the Hindu and the Sikh communities, by lighting a holy bonfire that also signifies passing of the winter solstice. Lohri officially marks the end of the long nights of winter and welcomes the longer days of summer, as the Sun begins its journey to the Northern Hemisphere.
Lohri celebrations – History
Lohri’s origin dates back to the Indus valley civilisation. Since this civilisation prospered in the areas of northern India and Pakistan, the festival is primarily celebrated in a similar manner in those regions. It has various other names in the other parts of India such as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Magha Bihu in Assam and Tai Pongal in Kerala.
The stories related with Lohri are numerous and are based on religious as well as socio-cultural traditions and events. The most famous and interesting legend behind Lohri is the story associated by Dulla Bhatti.Dulla Bhatti was popular among the poor, akin to Robin Hood, at the time of Mughal king Akbar. He used to plunder the rich community and distribute the loot among the poor and needy. This made him famous and revered among the populace. As the legend goes, he once saved a girl from the hands of kidnappers and then took care of her like his own daughter.
The other stories say that the word Lohri has come from the root ‘loh‘, which means a big iron griddle or tava on which chapattis are made for community feasts. Another version says that the Lohri word comes from ‘Loi’, who was the wife of the celebrated reformer Kabir Das.
Why is Lohri Celebrated?
Lohri is an occasion to celebrate the end of the sowing season of rabi crop, that is now ready to be harvested. Lohri is also a celebration of the Sun God, Surya, who is offered gratitude for gracing devotees with his presence once again. According to the Indian calendar, Lohri falls in the month of Pausha, and according to the Gregorian calendar, it's celebrated on the 13th of January. During the leap years, Lohri is celebrated on either 12th or 14th of January. It falls a day before the kite flying festival of Makar Sankranti that marks the beginning of the summer months. Lohri coincides with the festival of Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Pongal in Tamil Nadu.
Customms and Traditions🔥🌾
There are various customs and traditions associated with the festival of Lohri. Two-three days before, children and the girls of the house go from door to door asking for Lohri items such as sweets, sugar, sesame seeds, jaggery and cow dung cakes. They go to each door, singing verses in the praise of Dulla Bhatti and other traditional sonngs. The please owners give them rewards and, sometimes, money as well as part of the festivities. In the evening, when the sun is about to set, the people assemble in an open space and put all the items of the bonfire, like the cow dung cakes, logs, wood and sugar cane and light the bonfire.
Since this festival marks a thanks giving to the sun god, the mother earth, the fields and the fire, they offer oblations to the fire in the name of various demigods and chant their names and mantras. All the ‘loot’, which has been collected from the people in the form of popcorn, maize seeds, jaggery, rewari, gajak, peanuts and sesame seeds, are put in the fire as offering and then the prasad, or the remnants, are distributed among everyone.
People circumambulate the fire, which marks a sign of respect and reverence and pray for their prosperity and health. Then, the people of the household assemble in groups of men and women and perform the traditional folk dances of Bhangra and Gidda, separately.
The whole mood continues and at the end, the feast is organised, which consists of delicious dishes.
While those living in urban areas also celebrate the festival with much gusto, if you want to experience the joys of a traditional Lohri, you must travel to the rural areas of the Punjab region.
More post about Indian festivals ::