Lohri 2024: The harvest festival of Punjab

Lohri 2024: The harvest festival of Punjab

Lohri is celebrated every year on the 13th of January. It is a festival to worship fire. Lohri Festival is celebrated with great pomp in North India, especially in Punjab. At this time Earth starts moving towards the sun marking the auspicious period of Uttarayan. First Lohri is very important for newlywed and newborn babies as it marks fertility. At night, people gather around the bonfire and throw til, puffed rice & popcorn into the flames of the bonfire. Prayers are offered to the bonfire seeking abundance & prosperity. People make merry by dancing & singing traditional folk songs.

Lohri in North India coincides with various other festivals of different states, like Bengal the occasion is observed as “Makar Sankranti” as “Magha Bihu” in Assam and as “Tai Pongal” in Kerala. It is the end of the winter season when the sun shines from the “Uttrarayan”, which means less severe winter, and the earth will receive more warmth.

Though the Lohri festival has no religious significance it holds a great social significance and is celebrated as a day of imparting social love to one and all. The festival of Lohri is meant to relieve people from the worldly day-to-day routine and make them relaxed, cheerful, and happy. It is the time when people from all castes and social strata come together forgetting all past differences and grievances. Every year Lohri succeeds in bridging the social gap, as people visit homes, distribute sweets, and greet each other.

History of Lohri

lohri bonfire

Lohri is dedicated to fire and the sun god, as it is the time when the sun transit from the zodiac sign Sagittarius (Dhanu) to the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Makar) hence it is also called Makar Sankranti. Many socio-cultural stories are related to the festival and the most popular is the folk lore “Dulla Bhatti“. Even the popular folk song “Sundar Mundariye” is the story of Dulla Bhatti.

Dulla Bhatti (Rai Abdullah Khan Bhatti) was known as the Robin Hood of Punjab. He robbed the rich and gave to the poor. He rescued girls who were forcibly taken away to a slave market. He arranged marriages of young girls with Hindu boys and paid the dowries. The people of the area loved and respected him. He was a legendary 16th-century outlaw. He led a rebellion against the Mughal emperor Akbar and is a popular folk hero in Punjab.

Significance of Lohri Festival

The main significance of the festival is the celebration of winter crop harvest and thanking the Sun deity for his returns. Harvest and fertility festivals are of special significance for an agrarian country like India. Punjab being a predominantly agricultural state that prides itself on its food grain production, it is little wonder that Lohri is it’s one of the most significant festivals. Thus, Lohri is symbolic of the ripening of the crops and of copious harvest. Lohri instills sensitivity among the people towards their environment and culture. The fundamental theory behind the festival of Lohri is the sense of togetherness and the culturally rich legacy of the people of Punjab.

Lohri Bonfire
Lohri Bonfire

How Lohri is celebrated

Lohri in Punjab and Haryana has always been celebrated with much exuberance and fanfare. They believe in celebrating this harvest festival together and rejoicing it to the fullest. For the masses, this festival is a popular occasion for social intercourse and enjoyment. They make a bonfire and roast ‘fresh chholia‘ (green gram) in pods with its leaves and stems intact, and eat it. They also sing and dance while sitting around the fire. Lohri is thus a community festival and is always celebrated by getting together with neighbors and relatives.

The focus of Lohri is on the bonfire. The traditional dinner with Makki ki roti and Sarson ka saag are quintessential. The prasad comprises five main items: til (gingelly), gajak (a hardened bar of peanuts in jaggery or sugar syrup), Gur (jaggery), moongphali (peanuts), and phuliya (popcorn). There is puja, involving parikrama around the fire and the distribution of prasad. This symbolizes a prayer to Agni, the spark of life, for abundant crops and prosperity.

Lohri Sweets)
Lohri Sweets

Therefore, the festival of Lohri has great social significance. This time is considered auspicious for marriages and to undertake new ventures. The farmer, comparatively free from his yeoman’s duties, takes to fun and frolic. The golden color of the ripening corn in the fields pleases him. For newlyweds and newborns, Lohri is a special occasion. Families of the bride and groom get together and celebrate by dancing around the fire and expressing their joy. Lohri is a grand event of social and cultural integration, bringing about unity, amity, and harmony among all castes and communities.

Lohri songs for girls

“Hulle nee maiyee hulle
do beri patte jhulle
do jhul payeaan kahjurran
khajurran suttya meva
es munde de ghar mangeva
es munde di voti nikdi

oh! khandi choori, kutdi
Kut! Kut! Bharaya thaal woti bave nananaa nal
Ninaan te wadi parjaee
So kudma de ghar aayee!
mein lohri lain aayee!”

Lohri songs for boys

The song given below is also sung when children visit each and every house to collect the Lohri contributions.

Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!

Zamindaar sudhaye!
bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee pakad ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari eet!
Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi!
Paheenve ro te phannve pit! ”

Lohri Fun Songs

“Mukai da dana, Aana lei ke jana…
hulle hulare
asi ganga chale
sas sora chale
jeth jathani chale
dyor darani chale
pairi shaunkan chali
hulle hulare
asi ganga pohnche
sas sora pohnche
jeth jathani pohnche
dyor darani pohnche
pairi shaunkan pohnchi
hulle hulare

asi ganga nahte shava or hulle
jeth jathani nahte

dyor darani nahte
pairi shaunkan nahtii
hulle hulare

shaunkan paili pauri
shaunkan duji pauri
shaunkan tiji pauri
maiti dhakka ditta
shaukan vichhe rud gayi

hulle hulare

sas sora ron
jeth jathani ron
dyor darani ron
paira oh wi rove

main kya tusi kyon ronde
tvade jogi main batheri
mainu dyo badhaiyaan ji

Hulle Hullare”

Apart from the traditional Lohri songs people on the occasion of Lohri sing many other Punjabi songs and perform bhangra and Gida that is the folk dance of Punjab.


Lohri 2024: Wishes, Quotes, Messages, Facebook post & Whatsapp status

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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.