‘Lohri’, as many of you may know, is one of the grand and joyous festivals of north India, especially Punjab. I was born and raised in Punjab. So this festival is very near to my heart 🙂 . Lohri, basically marks the beginning of New year in India. On this occasion people wish each other abundance of joy and prosperity.
In Punjab, people have an upscale Lohri parties for newlyweds or firstborns in the family. The first Lohri of a bride is said to be extremely important. Also the first Lohri of a newborn baby, whether a girl or a boy, is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
People dress up in new clothes on Lohri night, generally in traditional ethnic wear.
In Punjab, a week before Lohri, children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of ‘Dulha Bhatti’ and ask for munchies.
Dulha Bhatti was the Punjabi version of Robin Hood, who back in the old days, used to rob from the rich and help the poor, and rescue poor Punjabi girls being taken forcibly to be sold in slave markets.
These children are then given sweets and savories, and money as well. Turning them back empty-handed is regarded inauspicious.
‘Bonfire’ is the key feature of this festival. After the sunset, huge bonfires are lit in the front yards of houses and people gather around it, sing folk songs and throw puffed rice, popcorn and other munchies into the fire.
After singing the prayers around the bonfire, people dance and sing to the beats of the ‘Dhol’ (drum like instrument). They perform the traditional dance which is called ‘Bhangra’. People in Punjab also eat their traditional cuisine this day, which is ‘Sarson ka saag’ with ‘Makki di roti’.
I love this festival. Actually I love almost every festival 😀 But honestly, being a ‘Punjabi girl’, the festival of Lohri gives me a chance to dress up in my traditional ethnic attire 😉 and who doesn’t love that?
Wish you all a very Happy Lohri 🙂
See you soon.