CELEBRATION OF LOHRI
(ON 13th JANUARY)
WISH YOU HAPPY LOHRI AND MAKKAR SANKRANTI
MAY THESE TWO FESTIVALS FOSTER BROTHERHOOD AND AMITY AMONGST ALL
Lohri festival is celebrated in Northern Indian states. It is being celebrated on 13th January – in the month of Pauch or Magha, one day before Makar Sankranti. We term this festival as a community based festival where Bhangra (dance by men folks) and gidha (dance by women folks) to the beats of drums bring verve and gaiety to the celebration. Seasonal dry fruits like peanuts, jaggery eatables besides milk cakes are specially made and distributed amongst relatives and friends.
Following are some of the reasons for its celebration:-
- Season related. It marks the end of winter and beginning of harvest season. It infuses vitality and zeal in the lives of people – especially the farmers. It symbolizes prayer to fire (Agni puja) in the evening. People take a few parikarma (rounds) around the bonfire and shower offerings to fire. Special bounties are asked for the wellbeing and prosperity besides peace in the entire households. Newly wedded couples and newly born receive special attention on this festival.
- Legend. The legend of Dulla Bhatti (Rai Abdullah Khan) is very popular. It is a legend of a Rajput warrior who saved a damsel in distress BELONGING TO HINDU RELIGION from the clutches of lustful officials. The valiant Rajput adopted her as his own daughter and married her off to a young and suitable Hindu body. He also gave her presents – nine mounds of sugar etc on her marriage. This shows the community feeling during those days. If during those feeling for each others was rampant then why not now! A song is sung:
Dhulla Bhatiwala hoi etc
(ON 14TH JANUARY)
India being a home to multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious society can pride itself in having different festivals. These festivals may be season based, traditional based, culture based, religious based or for that matter any other considerations. But the fervour and enthusiasm that accompanies with these festivals is second to none. It is here that a Hindu or enjoys Eid or Gurpurab or as a Muslim enjoys Diwali or all of them enjoy Christmas Day. That is the beauty. I do not dispute that hotheads are there in any strata of life who do not know either about their own religious festivals nor of others. One thing which pleases us is the shine on the faces of every one while celebrating any festival! That is more alluring than anything else.
Makkar Sankranti is celebrated in the month of Paus (January) Makar Sankranti is the day when the Sun God starts enters the Northern Hemisphere. Hindus like Greeks worship Sun God – the giver of immense energy. Sun God is termed as the manifest God, having all the glorious divinity. It is worthwhile to mention here that Gayatri mantra, which is from Rig-Veda, was specifically made with dexterity is for offering our respect to Sun God. He is the bestows us intelligence and sagacity. It goes to show that Makkar Sankranti is associated with cosmic event which affects the life of humans immensely.
This festival is celebrated with gaity and fervor in all the parts of India with different names but the enthusiasm remains the same. Devout get up early in the morning, take bath in holy rivers and offer prayers in the temples. After having offered prayers, people give alms to the needy according to their capability. In the afternoon people share a special Kichri (
Hotchpotch) made of rice and black dall uridh.
Every festival is linked with some seasons
Or certain well known occasions.
Lohri a winter festivals of repute
Falls in the month of ( 13th Jan) Paush
Marks the end of winter season
And beginning of longer – a little hotter days ahead soon
For farmers it is one of the happiest occasions
They start harvesting rabi crops
Start of spring season is a Natural bounty
Adds additional spice to festivities.
(Rabi Crop: Wheat, Gram, Pea, Mustard, Linseed, Barley, Peas)
Traditionally on lohri day a bonfire is lit
People congregate around it
And reverently offer, Jaggery (gur), sesame seeds (til)
Sesame coated sugar candy and popcorn into leaping bonfire
The skyward leaping fire
Too shows that it is enjoying all acts of hers
Gathering partakes the sacred offering themselves too as (parsad) offering
Satiety writ large in everybody’s face.
Offerings too is made to ‘panj tatavas’ five elements
Fire, wind, water, ether and earth
Going around the bonfire with great reverence
And singing traditional songs with dance makes much difference.
And that too in tune with beating of drums!
Tradition has it that there was a very brave person of repute
Named Dulla Bhatti from lineage of warrior race the Rajputs
In the reign of Mughal king Akbar
He used to rescue poor girls from the clutches of robbers
And got them married to suitable boys
People sing Lohri songs with gust
And shower utmost whilst praising his bravery.
Thence other legend of the origin of Lohri
From the wife of Saint Kabir named ‘Loi’
Herself a lady so pious.
Lohri too is linked with Makar Sanranti
Which too is another winter festival very famous
Celebrated one day after Lohri celebrations
A day so fixed
14th January – indeed very sacred
It marks the beginning of solar maagha masa
Makar Sankranti is start of harvest festival
And beginning of pleasant Spring Season
Celebrated in all parts of country.
It has its origin to the movement of the earth
Sun movement begins from (Sankranti) one zodiac sign
Into another – Capricorn zodiac (Makar) sign
Two movements are termed as Makar Sakranti.
This day marks the beginning of warmer days
As the sacred months start from this day onwards
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great fervor
In western and northern India
There is a mention of this day in Mahabharata
As, it is the festival of Sun God
Who gives us light and heat
To living beings without bias
And bestows us divinity and wisdom,
Thus holding an eternal meaning.