Lohri is one of the most auspicious and celebrated festivals in north India that is primarily celebrated in states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The festival to be celebrated on January 13, 2018 marks the end of sowing season and the onset of farming season. The festival is celebrated to pay homage to the Sun god with teyh hope the deity will grace the occasion leading to an abundant harvest. Lohri is also known as ‘harvest festival’ and the festivities are a means to start the harvesting of rabi crops through singing of traditional folk songs, dances and feast. The festival also holds significance for newly-weds and families with newborns. Lohri popularly known as bonfire festival is worshipped to beat the chilly winter nights as earlier the festival was celebrated on the day with shortest day and longest night.
Lohri Puja Vidhi, Procedure and timings
Quintessentially, the day begins with children visiting door to door chanting and calling ‘Lohri Loot’ in return of which they are showered with money, gifts and food. After sunset, people as a community gather with family, friends and relatives and huge bonfires are lit in front of the houses or in harvested fields and anytime after sunset it is auspicious for the rituals to begin. People show a lot of vigour and enthusiasm and perform traditional dances around the bonfire. Generally, men prefer to perform ‘Bhangra’ while women usually take to ‘Giddha’. With the beating of drums, men and women dance to their content till late in the night while children sing songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti and cajole elders for money. As part of the ritual women wear jewellery and newborns are given little combs. Houses are swept and cleaned for the bonfire ritual while people wear new clothes and gift sweets to each other. Farmers also offer ‘Phulle’ to the fire as a sow of gratitude to the Sun god and chant shlokas by saying ‘Adar Aaye Dilather Jaye’ which translates into ‘May prosperity arrive and poverty depart from our house’. After the puja, jaggery, gajak, til, peanuts, popcorns are distributed as prasad.
Lohri Puja Samagri
The ritual is that people dance around the bonfire, made of wood and cow dung cakes, while throwing in popcorn, laddoos, rewdi, phulle, jaggery, sugarcane and other food objects as part of the puja offering.