Lohri is mostly considered a Punjabi festival but celebrated widely in North India in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana as well.
The preparations for Lohri have begun in many homes. The bonfire harvest festival falls on January 13 this year.
Lohri has a huge significance in Hindu tradition which is as old as six centuries. Its mention is Sikh holy books and Hindu holy books. It is mostly considered a Punjabi festival but celebrated widely in North India in Himachal Pradesh and Haryana as well, it is celebrated as a symbol of love for celebrations. It is also called the ‘harvest festival’ which is celebrated on January 13 every year, which is also the shortest day of the year.
Being a country based on agrarian economy and Punjab which grew as a harvesting state in India after the green revolution in India in the 1970s and 80s celebrates the festival also as an ode to their agriculture practice. Also historically, during the 19th century, revenue for winter crops was collected either on Lohri or Maghi.
Mention of Lohri is also in the Guru Granth Sahib, the book praises Lohri as the most auspicious time of the year and anyone who meditates in front of the fire will be blessed. Hindus believe that lohri comes in to mark the end of peak winters and beginning of Magh. According to the Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna manifested himself in his full magnificence during this time.
Also many folklores praise Lohri in the tale of Sunder Mundriye, where Dulla Bhatti – a Robin Hood character who lived in Akbar’s reign – stole from the rich and fed the poor and saved women slaves from the rich. He got married to two of the slave women Sunder and Mundri on the day of Lohri and many celebrated a festival that day where the two innocent women were rescued by Dulla.
The festival is definitely celebrated in a more cosmopolitan fashion now. To enjoy winters with friends and family Lohri , the bonfire festival is another chance to organise a fine dinner. To building a bonfire with family or friends can be lots of fun. So, pile up some dry wood in your terrace or a veranda and light a match and throw it. Enjoy the warmth with or without gawdy festivities.