Saturday, January 12, 2019

Lohri Celebrations 2019: Bringing Prosperity To Your Home

This Lohri, Attract wealth and abundance. Know the significance of the festival of harvest and how Dulla Bhatti’s name got associated with this festival of prosperity and fertility.

The festival of Lohri celebrates the harvesting season. It symbolizes abundance, prosperity, fertility and good yield. Welcoming Sun in the Northern Hemisphere and bidding adieu to the chilly winters is what this festival of Lohri is often associated with. The festival holds great significance for Sikh community but is also celebrated in Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and nearby regions. Since this festival is more about merry-making, it has nowadays gained popularity and is celebrated everywhere in the world. People of Punjab are known for their love of food and this occasion is a celebration for the same. It is like a thanksgiving day when everyone shows their gratitude to the almighty for blessing us with a good yield.

हिन्दी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें

Purpose behind celebrating Lohri

As per Hindu Calendar, the festival of Lohri is linked with Makar Sankranti and season of harvest. It is technically the new year for the farmers as their hard work is rewarded and the granaries soon become full, hereby giving them financial stability. Lohri, is thus, a festival of agrarian India and is celebrated in a grand manner. The transit of Sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn suggests a change in weather as Sun moves to the Northern Hemisphere. With warmer days replacing the cold ones, the farmers harvest the crop of Rabi.

Folk Music and the festival of Lohri

Folk music, especially when it is from the state of Punjab, is something that people all over the world are big fans of. The music popular in Punjab is full of energy, high-beats and fast. Just listening to it fills us with enthusiasm and happiness. Bhangra and Gidda, the traditional dance forms, compliment the folk music and are a means of showing joy. Along with showing the happiness of receiving good yield, these songs are also used to honour Dulla Bhatti Wala, the Robinhood of Punjab. Most of the songs revolve around him and crops. Bonfire is an integral part of Lohri celebrations, where people gather around, sing and dance to show their joy and spread happiness around.

Dulla Bhatti and Lohri

The mythological fable popular along with this festival is that of Dulla Bhatti. It could be history, an anecdote or just a story but as per the belief, during the Mughal reign, While Akbar was on the throne, there was a man named Dulla Bhatti who was in strong opposition of the kind of trade that was prevalent. Young girls were being traded for goods. Dulla Bhatti saved those girls from the cruel merchants and arranged for their marriage. He became the hero and the role model for many after this noble deed. From that very day, by singing the song “sunder mundriye”, he is remembered and thanked. 

Rituals involved in Lohri Celebrations

Though this festival is primarily celebrated by Sikh community and people of Punjab, same enthusiasm is shown by everyone around the globe. It is a way of farmers to show gratitude towards God and thank him for blessing us with a good yield. 

  • Children go around visiting their neighbours and ask them for treats. They sing folk songs and make collections for Lohri.
  • It is believed that on this day, nobody should return a kid empty-handed, so they are offered sweets, jaggery, groundnuts and other such stuff to eat. Monetary rewards are also given.
  • At night, people gather around the place where Lohri (bonfire) is lit. They bring along food items like gajak, groundnuts, popcorn, etc. 
  • People sing and dance around the bonfire and greet each other.
  • The most important food item that is cooked for the day of Lohri is Makki di roti and Sarso da Saag, which is a traditional cuisine served to the guests and family members.
  • At some places, people also fly kites on this day.

Bonfire and Lohri

Since burning the pile of logs is an inevitable part of Lohri celebrations, there’s something more than just fire and warmth which makes it so important. Many people believe that this is done in the memory of Goddess Sati, the daughter of Daksh Prajapati. As per mythology, She was the first wife of Lord Shiva. When her father organized a maha-yagya (great yajna), he invited every Devta (Lord) but not her husband Shiva. Angered by such an insult of her husband, she went to her father’s home and asked her father the reason behind. Her father spoke ill about Lord Shiva due to which she sat in the fire of yajna, to be burnt alive. She sacrificed her body for the sake of her husband’s honour.

Another belief is that the last night of the month of Paush and the first morning of the month of Magh are extremely cold. To give warmth and comfort, this bonfire is lit.

Other States celebrating Lohri

Lohri is a festival of harvesting season, so is Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Bihu. In Andhra Pradesh, Lohri is celebrated as Bhogi. On this day, people replace the old stuff of their house with new ones and use the same for lighting up a bonfire. This could include old furniture or wooden items, but objects made of metal are never offered to fire. 

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