7 fun facts about Lohri..!!
Let us sing together:
Sundar mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! Zamidara lutti!
Bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahi ne mari itt!
Sanoo de de Lohri, te teri jeeve jodi!
Bhaanvey rot e bhaanvey pitt!
[Lohri di lakh lakh vadhaiyan]
Lohri, the harvest festival of the breadbasket of India, i.e. Punjab, is celebrated across the country with great fervor, happiness and glory. It is a way to spread the joy of seeing the sparkling pearls of Rabi crops amidst traditional folk songs, dance and food.
Bollywood has done enough to spread how this festival is celebrated and we all are aware of some of the facts related to Lohri including the story of Prahalad, burning wood, eating popcorns and jaggery and peanuts, singing and dancing but I have seen that many of us are still not aware of many of the facts about Lohri. Isn’t it?
Hence, I thought of collating the list of some of the fun facts about Lohri, for you all to know a little bit more about another important festival of our country:
1. The name Lohri is because of a few beliefs:
a. The name is derived from Loi, wife of the Sufi Saint Sant Kabir.
b. Loh in Punjab means the pan used to make rotis during community feasts. Since Lohri is a community festival, the name has been derived from the term Loh.
c. Lohri was also the sister of Holika.
d. The main ingredients used for making sweets in this festival are gajak and rewri or til and rohri. Thus, the name Lohri is a combination of these two words.
2. Earlier, Lohri was celebrated on winter solstice, the longest night and shortest day of the year (December 21 and 22). However, it eventually ended up marking the end of the winters (January 13).
3. Lohri is mainly seen as an occasion marking the end of the winters and beginning of a new harvest season by Punjabi’s. Lohri involves a Puja Parikrama around the bonfire and distribution of Prasad. This symbolizes a prayer to Agni, the spark of life, for abundant crops and prosperity. It is believed that the Lohri night is the last coolest night of winters.
4. There are numerous stories related with Lohri which are based on religious as well as socio-cultural traditional and events. The most famous and interesting legend behind Lohri is the story associated with Dullah Bhatti. Dullah Bhatti, like Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor. The people of the area loved and respected him. He once rescued a girl from kidnappers and adopted her as his daughter. His people would remember their hero every year on Lohri. Groups of children moved from door to door, singing the Dullah Bhatti folk song (a song a dedicated to Dullah Bhatti to express gratitude to him) meaning Dullah gave his daughter a kilo of sugar as a marriage gift.
5. Lohri is called the harvest festival. As traditionally January is the time period to harvest sugarcane crops and hence sugarcane products such as jaggery and gajak are essential to Lohri celebrations. Gajak, sarson ka saag and makke di roti are some of the preparations made specially for the festival. Peanuts, radish, sesame seeds and jaggery are also consumed, as they are also the part of the harvest.
6. Folk songs are sung in the evening to thank the fire and Sun God and to see his continued protection for the coming year. People dance and do gidda. In some parts of the country, kite flying is also very popular.
7. The festival of Lohri is considered to be a very special and important festival for the newly-weds and the new born baby. The first Lohri after the wedding (or on the birth of a child) is considered to be very auspicious. It is indeed very special.