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Lohri: The Bonfire Festival

13-JAN-2014 13:09

    From clandestinely licking - off that final grain of sugared, cinnamon infused rice to relaxing in the tenderness of the splendid bonfire - the Lohri festival is the time of untainted extravagance. Rejoiced every year on 13th January, to mark Winter solstice and venerate the customary inception of the harvest season in the state of Punjab, the festival is packed with sights and flavored fervor of jaggery. Lohri is contributed with scrumptious jollity by hymn along to “ishvar aa, dalidar ja, dalidar di jaar chulle paa” & playing about the heroics of the marvel of Dulla Bhatti.


    Indian Origins of Lohri


    There are numerous origins of Lohri. The main subject of Lohri is the conviction that Lohri is the enlightening celebration of Winter solstice. The key trait of Lohri is the bonfire. Illuminating the fire has been familiar in winter solstice festivals all through time. It implies the comeback of the longer days.


    Legends of Lohri Origin


    • Dulla Bhatti


    The main theme of Lohri songs is related to the legend of Dulla Bhatti. Dulla Bhatti lived in Punjab state during the supremacy of Akbar. He was looked upon as a hero of Punjab. He salvaged deprived Punjabi girls, being powerfully taken to be sold in slave marketplace of Middle East from Sandal Bar region.


    • Loi

    Some people think that Lohri has derived its name from the word “Loi”. Loi was the wife of Saint Kabir.


    • Loh

    Some people think that Lohri has derived its name from the word “Loh”. Loh means the warmness & light of fire.


    Significance of Lohri Festival


    In the state of Punjab, the bread - basket of India, Wheat is the major winter crop, which is planted in the month of October and reaped in the month of March or in April. In the month of January, the fields turn up with the swear of a golden harvest & farmers celebrate the Lohri festival during this period before the cutting & gathering of the crops.


    During this period of time, the earth which is farthest from the sun, initiates its journey towards the sun, consequently ending the coldest months of the year, Paush. It announces the beginning of Magh & propitious period of Uttarayan. In accordance with the Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna gives evidence of himself in his full splendor this time. The Hindus annuls their sins by taking bath in the Ganges River.



    The Bonfire Ritual


    In the dusk, massive bonfires are lit in harvested fields & in front yards of homes. People get together around the flames, circle around the bonfire and toss puffed rice, munchies and popcorn into the fire and hum popular folk songs. They pray the fire god, to sanctify the land with prosperity and abundance. The prasad consists of 5 major items: gajak, til, jaggery, popcorn and peanuts.



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