15 Interesting Facts about Lohri

15 Interesting Facts about Lohri

Lohri falls on the auspicious Jan. 13th and is seen as marking the longest night of the year in northern India, and the day after Lohri the daylight is meant to increase. Lohri marks the start of the sun’s ascendency into the northern hemisphere, which gladdened the heart of the merry-maker. Lohri is celebrated on the last day of the Winter solstice.

The day when Lohri is celebrated is considered to be very auspicious in Hinduism as Sun brings more energy and warmth to planet earth by changing its course. It is celebrated all over North India, especially in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu.

Many festivals are celebrated on or around the day of Makar Sankranti in different states of India, which are other forms of Makar Sankranti. Like Pongal in South India, Bihu in Assam and similar Lohri is celebrated in Punjab.

  • Lohri has derived its name from Loi, the wife of Saint Kabir. While others believe Lohri Comes From The Word Loh, Which Means The Light & The Warmness Of Fire. It is also believed that since eating of til (sesame seeds) and rorhi (jaggery) is part of the festival, the word Til & Rorhi merged to become Tilorhi, which shortened to Lohri.

  • The significance and legends about the Lohri festival are many and these link the festival to the Punjab region. According to another legend, Holika and Lohri were sisters. While the former perished in the Holi fire, the latter survived with Prahlad.

  • Lohri festival is also a tribute to the robin-hood of Punjab, Dulla Bhatti who used to save the Punjabi girls from being sold in the slave market. It is believed that after rescuing the girls named Sundari and Mundri from the king, the dacoit named Dulla Bhatti got them married to some good boys. There are many famous Lohri songs to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti – Robin Hood of Punjab during the reign of Mughals. Groups of boys ring the doorbell of houses and sing Dulla Bhatti Lohri songs, in turn, people give them popcorn, peanuts, crystal sugar, sesame seeds (til) or gur as well as money. It is considered inauspicious to turn them away empty-handed.

  • The new financial year also starts after the day of Lohri, which is known as Maghi. It actually marks the end of the winter season and signals the beginning of the new farming season and because traditionally revenue from winter crops was collected during the month of January since the 19th Century. Sugarcane harvest celebrated in Lohri festival yields a lot of by-products like gur and gazak which people eat a lot during the celebration time.

  • Lohri is believed to be a symbol of new beginnings. It is believed that the words til and rorhi merged to become tilorhi which further got shortened to Lohri. People of India celebrate the festival with full zest and enthusiasm and they also thank sun god for the abundance of farm harvests in the previous year.

  • Many fairs or ‘melas’ are organized on the occasion of Lohri especially in Punjab and Haryana which is visited by local as well as foreign tourists also.

  • In various places in Punjab young people collect items like logs for a bonfire, grains from localities a week in advance for the celebration. They would lit a bonfire, perform the dance, sing the folk song,s and pray to god with the belief of prosperity to all. In some parts of Punjab, people use cow dung and woods to prepare bonfire. In the evening of the Lohri, people gather around the bonfire and throw the harvested seeds, grains into the fire, and chant “aadar aye dilather jaye” which means peace and prosperity to all.

  • In many of the houses Lohri marks the new beginning, the first Lohri of a newly-wed bride celebrated with her husband’s family is important and if there is new childbirth in the house then Lohri is celebrated at a grand scale. People usually have private Lohri celebrations nowadays and it turns into a grand party in case of a new marriage or new child’s birth.

Suggested Read: Items needed for Lohri Festival Celebration

  • Traditional food items like Sarson da saag with Makki di roti, jaggery, nuts, radish are consumed by a large amount of the population during this festival. The delicacies mostly consist of vegetarian food specially made up of til, jaggery, nuts, etc and served with ‘makke ki roti’ (corn bread) and ‘sarso ka saag’ (green mustard dish).

  • Lohri Prasad consists of six main things which are: Sesame, Gajak, Jiggery, Peanuts, Fools, and Popcorn.

  • Kite flying on Lohri is also very popular.

  • The next day after Lohri is ‘Maghi’ where people take a holy dip in rivers and offer prayers to God for their prosperity.

Lohri also signifies the harvesting season in Punjab which people celebrate by lighting bonfire and singing and dancing around it. It is a festival full of energy and happiness which is considered to be the new beginning of life with warmth and Love.

Hauli Hauli saare chadd gye nawi umar di paudi mithiyaan yaadaan saahmb k rakhiye, bhull jaayie gall kahi kaudi gachakk, mungfali khha khaa rajjiye, त्‍वानू लोहड़ी दी लख लख वधाई…

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.