Lohri celebration is around the corner. This festival is considered to be one of the special festivals in North India and it is also celebrated as a harvest festival. This festival is primarily celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus.
Celebrated in the month of January as per the Gregorian Calendar, when the sun shines from the Uttrayan (meaning ) it passes across Makar ( Capricorn: zodiac sign) and moves northwards when the earth receives warm raise of the sun.
This festival is celebrated with different names in different states of India. In Bengal, it is referred to as Makar Sankranti , In Assam as Magha Bihu and Tai Pongal in Kerala. People light bonfires to combat chilly and cold weather. They sing and dance around the fire. Fire gives them strength and positive energy to overcome their negativity. Lohri festival is dedicated to fire and sun God. In Varanasi and Ahemdabad this festival is celebrated in the form of Uttrayan and Makar Sankranti. People do daanpinds and pray for their ancestral souls. Kids and adults fly kites and have chakkis and Lai pattis made up of gud, ramdaana, til, etc.
Lohri festival originated from the Indus Valley civilization. After then the Indus people spread the tradition of this festival in Northern India and Pakistan. There are many stories regarding this festival which is based on the socio-cultural traditions and events. But one of the famous stories behind this celebration is the story of Dulla Bhatti who was poor in the reign of Emperor Akbar. He once saved the girl from the hands of the kidnappers and took care of her like his own daughter.
People host Lohri parties as well. Lohri is also known as Lal Loi which basically refers to Sun God( Surya) and Fire god (Agni). This festival also marks the end of the winter season and the beginning of the summer season. As everything is getting digital these days, people greet each other through social media sites. But there are many places where people celebrate this festival in a traditional manner. They wear traditional Salvar, Kurta, Patiala suit, Paranda. Ladies also wear chuda, etc as accessories. They sing the Lohri song and dance around the fire.
This festival is also considered as heart and soul festival of Punjabis . Lohri festival carries the messages and prayers by the people that the news rays of the summer sun bring a lot of happiness and love in and around the corner and each farmer will get benefit from their Rabi crops. Veer Zara’s famous Lohri song 'Lo Aa Gayi Lohri Ve' symbolizes the happiness and contentment of Punjabi people like how they are completely ready in order to welcome the happy sunny days as Lohri is considered to be one of the longest night of the winter year.
Lohri is completely missing without lighting of born fires, dhols, nagadas, popcorns, rewari, gajak and groundnuts. It is incomplete without blockbuster and Bollywood hit songs. This song itself regenerates the old dead traditional celebration of Lohri .
One of the nights to remember this festival is celebrated one night before the festival of Makar Sankranti. People do Puja Parikrama (circles) around the holy fire and pray to God for their good deeds and for their bright future. This festival is actually the festival of farmers and they celebrate this festival in the name of harvest festivals. According to Bikrami Calendar, this festival's celebration date remains almost the same every year. This year as well, Lohri will be celebrated on 13th January, one day before Makar Sankranti.