Origin, Values And Significance Of Lohri Festival
What Is Lohri Festival?
Lohri is India’s one of the festivals popularized by its auspiciousness as a winter folk festival in India, particularly in the Punjab region of the country.
The festival heralds the time marking the passing of the winter solstice or say it marks the ending of the winter season and heralding of the celestial journey of the sun toward the northern hemisphere. The virtue of the festival lies in the fact that it represents a joyous moment for the people.
The festival of Lohri is dedicated to Lord Sun, with devotees offering their prayers to the Lord asking for peace, and prosperity.
When Is The Lohri Festival Celebrated In India?
The festival of Lohri is celebrated on January 13 every year in India.
The Origin Of The Lohri Festival
Tales associated with the origin or history of Lohri are many. Some sources also point out the fact that the festival was derivative of the Himalayan mountain region that is said to be colder than the other parts of India. The festival is usually signified by a gathering of people around a bonfire, a ritual conducted after many days of harvesting the Rabi crop.
The origin of Lohri was mentioned by some European visitors in 1832. Moreover, the festival was also mentioned by Captain Mackeson of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The festival was depicted by usual characterization like a huge bonfire at night in 1844.
In the earliest days, the festival was portrayed as a celebration marking the end of the traditional month signifying the inception of the winter solstice.
According to an ancient tale, the festival of Lohri ties its origin with the story of Dulla Bhatti, a locally famed individual in the Punjab region during the era of Akbar. He was held as a hero who saved young girls from being enslaved. His legend passed down on generations in the depiction of heroism extolled in the folklore of the religion.
Significance Of Lohri Festival
The significance associated with the festival of Lohri lies in the fact that it signals the arrival of the winter crop season, and being mentioned in the folklore of Dulla Bhatti, a local hero held in esteem for his bravery of saving many young girls from being forcibly sold to slavery, during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Two girls out of many that he saved were Sundri & Mundri whose names are mentioned in Punjab’s folklore as a part of the celebration of Lohri involving a troupe of youngsters singing an extol of Dulla Bhatti. When the song comes to an end, the youngsters are rewarded with snacks and money. Another significance of the festival lies in the fact that it heralds the arrival of the harvest season and sunny days.
Why Do People Walk Around The Bonfire During Lohri?
The bonfire that is set during Lohri is not an ordinary one. It represents the regard and dignity of the time-honored festival. People walk around the bonfire in reverence shown to the festival. The belief is that doing so will bring forth prosperity in the life of devotees who observe the festival of Lohri and perform the ritual of walking around the bonfire. Another benefit associated with this is that people in Punjab tie the relevance of bonfires with their societal values filled with positivity.
Moreover, the festival of Lohri signifies a celebration of abundance in terms of joy, harvest, food, and other things that bring forth peace and harmony in people’s lives.
Lohri is one of the most respective festivals, particularly it is celebrated in the Punjab region. The festival is dedicated to Lord Surya and is believed to signify the advent of the harvest season during winter. Devotees of the festival offer their prayer to Lord Sun, and ask the Lord to bless them with peace and abundant prosperity. The festival is held in regard for being a time-honored celebration as well. The event marks the singing of folklore extolling the bravery of Dulla Bhatti, a local hero who saved young girls from being forcibly enslaved, during the reign of Akbar.
The festival of Lohri represents the cultural values of the Punjab region. Besides, it also signifies the religious auspiciousness of being associated with Lord Sun.
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