Lohri

Yesterday, many people were asking me about Lohri. Here are the some of the details :

Lohri Songs

Sunder mundriya …ho

Tera kaun vichara..ho

Dulla Bhatti walla..ho

Dulle ne ti viahiyi..ho

Saer Shakar payi..ho

Kudi de boje payee..ho

Shallu kaun samete..ho

Chacha galee dese..ho

Chache choori kutee..ho

Zamindaran lutee..ho

Zamindara sidaye..ho

Gin-gin pole layee..ho

Ik pola reh gaya..ho

Sipahi farh ke lei gaya..ho

Aakho mundao taana..

Mukai da dana..

Aana lei ke jana..

The day:

During the day, children go from door to door singing songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, the Punjabi version of Robin Hood, a thief who helps the poor and fights for their rights. These children are given sweets and savouries, and occasionally, money. These munchies that the children collect are known as Lohri, and they are distributed at night during the festival. Some may be offered to the sacred fire.

The celebration:

Lohri is celebrated to denote the last of the coldest days of winter. Singing and dancing form an intrinsic part of the celebrations. People wear their brightest clothes and come to dance the bhangra and gidda to the beat of the dhol. Punjabi songs are sung, and everybody rejoices. Sarson ka saag and makki ki roti is usually served as the main course at a lohri dinner.

During this time, the farmers are undergoing a period of rest because wheat, which is the main crop in Punjab, is sown in October and harvested in March or April. In January, the fresh crop has just started growing, and the farmers are ecstatic. A prayer is made to Agni, the god of Fire, and Prasad is distributed. The prasad comprises of five main things: til, gazak, gur, moongphali (peanuts), and phuliya or popcorn. An offering is also made of this Prasad to the sacred fire.

Lohri everywhere:

Lohri is celebrated throughout the country in different forms, as a harvest festival. It is called Pongal in the South, Bhugali Bihu in Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh and Sankranti in the central part of the country. Modes of celebrating Lohri are also different, but the message conveyed by the festival, that of setting aside differences and rejoicing by celebrating the end of the harvest season and the chilly winter, is the same.

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