Lohri is majorly celebrated in North Indian states like Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. The festival is mainly the harvest festival of Punjab. The festival has its importance and significance in Punjab and all such states, where it is being celebrated. It basically marks the end of the chilling winters and warmly welcomes the season of fruitfulness, spring and the Indian New Year. Generally people believed that the night of the Lohri is the longest night of the year, post which the days begin to turn longer and the nights become shorter. People celebrate Lohri as a festival of the God Sun and Fire.
Importance of Lohri: There are many mythological stories and believes that are linked with this important festival of Punjab. Some believes that it actually traces back to name of the wife of Sant Kabir. However, some believe that the sister of Holika, who perished in the fire while trying to kill Prahlad, while her sister Lohri survived due to her piety. There are people, who believe that Lohri festival was named on the Loh, or the appliance which is used to turn and pressing Chapattis or Indian breads. Besides, all these stories and believes there are many other stories as well like Lohri is basically a short form of Tilohri where Til seeds and Rorhi, the components of the food items are combined to create this world.
How to celebrate such a significant festival? It is mainly the community festival and celebrated with family, friends and relatives. It is mainly a harvest festival, therefore, it has its importance for farmers. The main attraction of this important festival is primarily meant to be observed by the farmers, but since Punjab is an agricultural land, almost everyone participate in this festival.
The main attraction point of this festival is the huge bonfire which is lit and people gather, sing and dance around it. During the festival celebration many rituals are performed like throwing of sesame seeds, gur or jiggery, sugarcane sticks, rewaris, popcorns and several other items into the fire. No Lohri festival cerebration is complete without the beats of Dhol and Bhangra dance. It is considered the most exciting dancing style and people dressed in most vibrant and colorful dress to make their mark on this special occasion.
First Lohri Celebration for the newly brides: The newly brides in Punjabi wedding wear the colorful bangles, new clothes and try to look her best on that special day. Even the groom is also expected to wear the new attire and a colorful turban to match with the bride. As a ritual, the bride receives various gifts like clothes, jewelry, sweets, make up-kit, etc. Generally the first Lohri is celebrated with all family members, relatives and friends. All the arrangements are done on a wider scale. The family organizes dinner for all the family members, relatives and guests who are present for the celebration. Bride is also supposed to gift clothes and other things to her in-laws and other guests who are there. The couple also seeks blessings and good wishes from their elders on this day.
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