Lucknow: Lohri brings not only joy but delicious dishes to put a big smile on our faces. What Lohri also brings is the longer days and shorter nights. Yes! known by different names across the nation, Lohri marks the end of the winter solstice. Celebrated majorly by Sikhs and Hindus in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu, Lohri, is one of the most popular festivals of North India.
Based on the solar part of the lunisolar Bikrami calendar, Lohri is celebrated on January 13 every year which also marks the harvest of the rabi crops. As per local custom, first Lohri is considered very auspicious for a new bride and a newborn as it symbolises fertility.
Called by different names and celebrated for different reasons, Lohri is observed in different parts of the country. People celebrate it by lighting a sacred bonfire, which is considered to be a symbol of fertility, auspiciousness and is believed to bring good luck. The festivities of Lohri include not only dressing up vibrantly, cooking delicious food and socialising but it also involves people to sing and dance around the fire. On this occasion, people come together, leaving past all their differences and remember the Sun deity (Surya).
The highlight of Lohri festival is the products made from the winter sugarcane harvest. Products made from Jaggery like, Gachak, Rewaries, Chikkis are the central attraction of this celebrations.
People also make sweets made from nuts and Til (sesame seeds) and eat Makke ki roti and sarson ka saag in dinner.
The origin of Lohri can be traced back to the tale of a famous legendary hero of Punjab, Dulla Bhatti, who led a rebellion against Mughal emperor Akbar. The chivalrous Punjabi warrior not only helped destitute but also rescued poor Punjabi girls who were forcibly taken to be sold in slave market. Therefore, in the Punjab region, Lohri is correlated to the tale of Dulla Bhatti, who is the central character of many Lohri songs. Nearly all the Lohri songs are sung in his respect to celebrate the humanity he showed through his selfless service for the poor, during his lifetime.
The reason why Lohri increases our joy, lies on its next day! as on the very next day of Lohri, we celebrate another festival, the festival of Maghi, which is also known as Makar Sankranti (January 14). On this day, Hindu devotees go to a sacred water body to wash and absolve themselves of their sins. They also fly kites and compete with one another.
At this note, team PardaPhash take a leave and wish you all a joyous Lohri!!!