Last Updated: January 07, 2023, 19:50 IST
Lohri is widely celebrated in Northern India. The festival, distinguished by considerable pomp and cheerful dancing and singing by people decked in vibrant clothing, is supposed to signal the start of the winter crop harvesting season. This year the harvest festival will be celebrated on Friday, January 13. However, it has been observed that the day before Makar Sankranti is marked as Lohri. Initially, it was observed on the evening before the Winter Solstice.
To mark the beginning of the Rabi season, both Hindus and Sikhs build bonfires in their yards. They gather around the fire and engage in festivities. The celebration of this festival has ties to a well-known folk tale. The legend is about the historical character of Dulla Bhatti. He was a Rajput Muslim. Humayun murdered his father Farid Khan and grandfather Sandal Bhatti four months before he was born. To scare the rebels, the skins of both were packed with wheat hay and hung outside the village of Bharwa. They were murdered because they resisted paying tax to the Mughals.
Dullah Bhatti rose to fame in the same manner as his forebears, becoming the Robin Hood of his time, looting from the oppressors and giving to the oppressed. He was viewed as a dacoit by Akbar. He is best known for rescuing women held as slaves by the Mughal and arranging their wedding. The Lohri festival is celebrated in honour of Dulla Bhatti and his accomplishments.
On the day of Lohri, the Punjabis celebrate the sacrifice of their son of the soil and a beloved hero. Essentially, Lohri is a festival that honours the beginning of warmer weather, which is symbolised by the bonfire. Many individuals, especially farmers, begin harvesting the crop.
In order to feel the warmth of the sun during the frigid winter days, people also repeat some ancient mantras. There is an ancient belief that if one chants particular mantras, the sun may grant you those wishes.
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