Lohri is a winter folk festival celebrated in the Indian subcontinent. The festival is believed to mark the end of winter and the beginning of longer days.
Lohri is also known as Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi. It is widely celebrated in Punjab, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. In Pakistan, people in the cities of Faisalabad and Lahore also celebrate this festival. It is celebrated one day before Makar Sankranti.
Lohri 2022 Date: January 13, Thursday.
Story: Ancient folklore tells that Lohri was celebrated at the end of the traditional month when the winter solstice occurred. The origin of this festival comes from the regions close to the Himalayan mountain, since these regions experience the highest intensity of winter, compared to the rest of the lands of the Indian subcontinent.
People of all religions in the region, especially Hindus and Sikhs, light traditional bonfires in their yards on this day, after working for weeks during the rabi growing season. Family and friends gather around the bonfire and celebrate Lohri with food, dancing and fun.
Importance: Lohri is a celebration of winter harvest season and is mainly related to Punjab. It marks the beginning of the harvest season and sunny days.
The theme of many Lohri songs is based on the story of Dulla Bhatti, a hero figure from Punjab. Legends say that Dulla Bhatti resided in Punjab during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He is known as a hero in the region because he once rescued local Hindu girls who were being trafficked into a slave market in the Middle East. Since then, many Lohri songs have been sung in honor of her bravado.
Party: People celebrate Lohri by reveling around bonfires, eating sheaves of grilled corn from the new crop, til rice, makki di roti, peanuts and jaggery. Kids get around by picking up Lohri items and playing tricks or treats. In areas of Jammu, people perform Chajja and Hiran Dance.