Lohri was celebrated on 13thJanuary every year. This is the main festival of Punjabi’s. It is also celebrated in the name of Dulha Bhatti. He was the person who robbed the rich and served the poor. He once rescued a girl from kidnappers and adopted as his daughter.
He also helped many couples to get married who were in love. He was punished and kept in jail for this purpose by King Akbar. Even then, he continued his help with the help of his friends. Akbar came to know about this one day and ordered his soldiers to kill him.
On the early morning of Lohri, they arrange large bonfires and throw popcorn, puffed rice into it. Young people get gathered around the fire (parikrama) and sing “Aadar aye dilather jaye” .The dance performed by men around the fire is called as Bhangra. Women do not participate in Bhangra. Children will be in full excitement and go to every door for prasad by singing songs.
People wear bright clothes for this dance. This is the way they offer prayers to the God of Agni. After the completion of parikrama, people visit their relatives and friends to exchange sweets. The Prasad consists of til, gajak, jiggery. At the end of the day, delicious dinner will be prepared. Women prepare a pudding which consists of spinach, mustard leaf and lentil which is cooked in sugarcane juice. This pudding helps to purify the blood and clean the body.
Lohri is a symbol of love and this is the time where people meet each other and have fun. Lohri also indicates the entry of “Makar Rashi”. Many SMS (usually in hindi) and greeting cards are available online. Lohri celebrations will reach to the peak in the house of newly married couples and new born babies.
It gives a break from their busy schedule. It is called as Pongal in Andhra Pradesh and Uttaravan in Tamil Nadu. Women’s dance in this festival is called as Gidda. This is also treated as a thanks giving day for their loved ones. Punjabi farmers treat this day as an important day because it is the new financial year.
Farmers pray to God to have golden harvest and blooming fields and also thank God for whatever he has given. The main importance in this festival is to offer thanks to Sun God because he is the main reason to have good fields at the end of the year.