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Lohri 2023: Why And How The Festival Is Celebrated

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Lohri is celebrated in parts of northern India, especially Punjab and neighbouring states, to mark the beginning of the harvest season. This year, Lohri falls on January 14, Saturday. Observed by Hindu and Sikh communities, celebrations of Lohri involve lighting a holy bonfire, gathering around it, and offering prayers and food to the fire God. 

Date

Lohri will be celebrated on January 14 in Punjab and other northern states of India this year. The Lohri Sankranti moment is at 08:57 pm. Makar Sankranti, the kite flying festival, which marks the onset of summer, falls on January 15, Sunday.

History

A harvest festival, Lohri marks the end of the sowing season of rabi crops. People seek blessings from the Agni (Fire) and the Sun God for a good yield. Wheat, which is the main crop in Punjab, is sown after the rainy season in October. Hence, farmers pray for good and profitable produce on Lohri.

Lohri is an occasion that welcomes the longer days and the Sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere.

Significance

Lohri serves as an opportunity to bring people together, spread joy, and celebrate the harvest season. It is also a day to remember the Sun deity or the goddess of Lohri.

How is Lohri celebrated?

Traditionally, a bonfire is lit in harvested fields and farmers and other people circle around it. Fire is not only a central part of the festival but also provides warmth in the cold weather. Treats like peanuts, gajak, popcorns, and rewari are distributed which are then offered to the fire God.

Special programmes are organised where people sing traditional Lohri songs, dance, and interact. Men and women do jhoomer, bhangra, kikli, and giddha to celebrate the festival. There is also a tradition to eat “til rice” on Lohri. It is made with jaggery, rice, and sesame seeds.

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