LOHRI is the festival that marks the culmination of the chilly winter season.
Source. Jagran English.
It is one of the most popular traditional and cultural festivals of the country celebrated with popular folk dances and enjoying a bonfire. It is an auspicious festival celebrated mostly in the Northeastern parts of the country, especially in Punjab with great zeal and enthusiasm.
It is also an extremely auspicious occasion to celebrate a newborn baby or new bride’s arrival in the family. Also, there is a popular belief that Lohri is signified as the longest night and is celebrated to offer gratitude for making a bounteous harvest possible.
Why Is Lohri Marked By Longest Night?
Lohri is the celebration of the arrival of longer days after the winter solstice and marks the longest night of the year. According to folklore, Lohri in ancient times was celebrated at the end of the traditional months when winter solstice occurred. It is an occasion that celebrates the days getting longer as the sun proceeds on its journey towards the North.
After Makar Sankranti, the Sun starts moving towards the North. Due to this, the days gradually start getting longer and the nights shorter. At the same time, the brightness of the Sun also starts increasing. This is why Lohri is known as the ‘Longest Night Of The Year.’
It marks the beginning of the New Year for Punjabi farmers. Farmers on this day pray and show their gratitude towards God for their crops before the harvesting begins and pray to Lord Agni to bless their land with abundance.
Apart from being a harvest festival, the festival also celebrates the birth of a newborn in the family. Elder members shower their blessings on the newborn and mother along with beautiful gifts.
Lohri 2023: Customs
The festival of Lohri also known as the Harvest Festival is associated with numerous cultural customs and traditions. Bonfire is one of the most popular traditions of the Lohri festival in which people dance and walk around in circles around the bonfire and pray for well being and health of their loved ones.
Everyone gets dressed in their best outfits to enjoy the festivities. The rooms of the house are swept and sprinkled with water. With the setting sun, people gather around the bonfire. As the flames of the bonfire leap up, people throw sesame seeds over them and bow.