Lohri 2018: Coming from the land of festival is Lohri, another awaited celebration which is the recognized as parts of Nort India. The commencement of the New Year brings a slew of festival which Indians keep looking forward to for the rest of the year. Primarily considered the festival of Punjabis, Lohri is celebrated with great pomp and show, especially in the north Indian region. One of the first Hindu festivals of the year, it is essentially termed as the festival of the farmers, the festival of harvest, whereby, the farmers can thank the Supreme Being and his agents by lighting a bonfire and offering sacrifices in their names and asking for their blessings. It is a way of celebrating the firstharvest of rabi crops with traditional folk songs, food and dance.
According to Indian Express, the origin of Lohri dtes back to the Indus Valley Civillization. Since northern India and Pakistan were the areas were the civillization thrived, this is generally were the festival is celebrated with much pomp and show. In other parts of the country, Lohri is elebrated with diffrent names. Like in Tamil Nadu it is Pongal, in Bengal it is Makar Sankranti, in Assam its Magha Bihu and in Kerala its Tai Pongal. There is not one theory or history related to Lohri. Different religion has their own beliefs nd own way of celebrating it. But the most famous and interesting legend behind Lohri is the story associated by Dulla Bhatti. It is also said 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 Lohri word comes from ‘Loi’, who was the wife of the celebrated reformer Kabir Das.
Originaly, Lohri was celebrated just before the Winter Solstice which used to mark the coldest night of the year followed by the longest night and shortest day of the year. People used to protect themselves from the winter chills by burning fire and keeping it through the night. The festival marks the harvesting of the rabi crops. The people of Punjab, the most fertile belt of India, celebrate the harvesting of sugar cane thorough this festival. Sesame seeds, jaggery, radish, mustard and spinach are also harvested. People celebrate the harvest festival by making sweets like revari, gajak and staple food like Sarso ka Saag with Makki ki roti.
Why it is Celebrated:
Lohri is a festival associated directly with the sun, earth and fire. Sun represents the life element, earth represents our food and fire maintains our health. All these elements are granted to us free of cost by the supreme personality of godhead and we are not liable to pay for them. It i just a way of thanking the service that the nature provides to us selflessly. Therefore we pray and celebrate the festival as a token ofthanks for protection and prosperity.