In between the chilly cold climate, with the wobbling temperature between 0 to 5 degrees Celsius and the opaque fog outer, the whole things seems sluggish in the northern Indian region. Though, below the actually cold surface, you will be shocked to find a blatant wave of action going on. People, mainly in the northern Indian area like Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh parts, are busy in preparations of Lohri festival — the appreciated bonfire celebration — once they can arrive of their homes and enjoy the cutting of the Rabi crops as well as provide in to enjoying and relaxing the traditional folk dances and songs.
In the region of Punjab, the India’s breadbasket, wheat is the major winter crop that is sown in month of October and harvested in the month of March or April. In the month of January, the fields arrive with the pledge of a golden crop, and farmers enjoy Lohri throughout this rest time before the gathering and cutting of crops.
As per to the Hindu chart, Lohri falls in middle time of January. The terrain, utmost from the sun at this time period, begins its expedition in the direction of sun, therefore completing the coldest time of the whole year, Paush, and declaring the begining of the Magh month and the promising Uttarayan period. Lord Krishna declares himself in their complete magnificence throughout this period and it is mentioned in Bhagwat Gita.
Customs & Legends
In the Lohri day’s morning, kids move from door to door demanding and singing the Lohri ‘loot’ in the type of eatables and money such as til seeds, jaggery, peanuts, or sweets such as rewri, gajak, etc. They chat in admire of Dulha Bhatti, an avatar of Punjabi like Robin Hood who raided the rich to assist the poor, and once assisted a fed-up village girl out of their sadness by getting her wedded off like their own sister.
The Ritual of Bonfire
In the Lohri evening, with the arrangement of the sun, big size bonfires are lit in the cropped fields and opposite of houses and people meet around the increasing flames, ring around the bonfire as well as throw winded popcorn, rice and some other munchies into the rising fire, singing “ishwar aye dalither jaye” (May respect come and deficiency disappear!), and sing famous folk songs. It is a kind of appeal to Agni, the god of fire, to approve the ground with prosperity and abundance. Later than the parikrama, people meet relatives and friends, exchange gifts and greetings, and hand out prasad.
The prasad contains five major things: gajak, til, peanuts, popcorn and jaggery. Savories of winter are supplied around the bonfire with the conventional dinner of makki-di-roti and sarson-da-saag.
Dance & Song
The men’s bhangra dance starts later than the providing to the bonfire. The process of dancing keeps on till late night with new joining groups in between the drum’s beat. Usually, women don’t join the dance of Bhangra. They clasp a separate bonfire in their court tracking it with the poised gidda dance.