Lohri 2022: when is the folk festival, where is it celebrated and how do you wish someone “Happy Lohri”?

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Lohri is an official holiday celebrated mainly by the people of the states of Punjab, Jammu region and Himachal Pradesh in India.

Many people celebrate Lohri in January to mark the winter solstice, signifying the end of winter and to welcome the longer days as the sun begins its journey to the northern hemisphere.

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But what is Lohri and how is it celebrated?

When is Lohri celebrated?

Lohri is observed a night before Makar Sankranti, also known as Maghi, a festival marking the Sun’s transition into Capricorn.

According to a historic Hindu calendar used in the Indian subcontinent, the Vikrami calendar, Lohri is celebrated every year around the same date, January 13, in the Gregorian calendar.

As Lohri is celebrated throughout the state of Punjab, some people observe it in Pakistan, but not at an official level. Some Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians observe this festival in rural areas of Punjab and in the cities of Faislabad and Lahore.

Lohri is also linked with several solar festivals throughout South India, such as Pongal, which usually takes place on January 14.

Pongal is a multi-day Hindu festival celebrated mainly by Tamils ​​to mark the month of Tai and is dedicated to Sunya, the sun god.

Why is Lohri celebrated?

Not much is known about Lohri’s authentic origins other than its beginnings in the Himalayas.

There is a lot of folklore surrounding Lohri, and it is generally known to be a festival marking the end of winter and the arrival of longer days after the winter solstice.

According to folklore, Lohri is observed at the end of the month in which the winter solstice occurs, as the days begin to lengthen and the sun begins its northward journey.

Along with its association with the sun and light, Lohri is also a tribute to the Sun God Surya, with songs sung to celebrate his return.

Lohri folk tales are also associated with legends of Dulla Bhatti, a medieval warrior who led a revolt against Mughal Emperor Akbar. Bhatti became a folk hero by stealing from the rich to give to the poor and rescuing young Hindu girls who were sold as slaves.

According to the stories, he even used the money he stole to pay bride price for the girls so that they could marry the local village boys.

Historically, Lohri also marks the end of the winter harvest, and crops such as sugar cane were harvested on this day. For this reason, Lohri is still considered by some Punjabi farmers as the beginning of the financial year.

How is Lohri celebrated?

Lohri Folk Festival is all about light, so many people celebrate this festival with a roaring bonfire. The fire symbolizes the return of the sun and longer days. Yet it also symbolizes the victory of light over darkness, warmth over cold, and life after death.

Throughout the Punjab region, children play games like tricks or treats, or sing traditional songs for sweets and money. People also mark the harvest festival by eating sheaves of roasted corn and sugar cane products from the new harvest.

Mustard leaf dishes are traditionally eaten and served.

Locals in Jammu area make garlands and celebrate with traditional dances such as Hiran Dance and Chajja.

Bright colors and dancing are a key part of Lohri as it celebrates a new transition in the year. It is a day when friends and family celebrate by singing traditional folk songs hailing tales of old.

How to wish someone a happy Lohri in 2022?

Since this day is synonymous with happiness and prosperity, you can wish someone a happy Lohri by simply saying “Happy Lohri for 2022”.

Messages including sunshine and warmth are also poignant, so mentioning happiness, warmth, and prosperity in messages is always appreciated.

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