Lohri is considered to be one of the most important festivals among the Punjabi and Sikh communities. They make sure that even the new members of their family never forget their first Lohri. When a baby is born or a new bride becomes a part of the family, they cherish and try to make this festivity a big bash and unforgettable at any cost.
Usually, the family members and relatives do the possible preparation for the new couple (especially the bride) and for a newly born baby on their first Lohri and decorate their homes with flickers, gleamed lights, and other shimmered items. A mammoth bonfire is also lit as a conventional tradition either on the terrace areas (rooftops) or some open parks etc. Relatives, Friends, and close acquaintances are cordially invited for the small at-home events to bless the infant and the new girl with utter boons.
A new bride is made to never forget her first Lohri in her new family. She needs to wear new and vibrantly colored attire, dress up in her best for the occasion wearing lots of bangles, and decorate her palms with Mehndi. You can say that she needs to get ready as a bride again. The husband also wears a new outfit and wears an elaborate turban. The new bride is gifted with beautiful clothes and jewelry for the occasion by her in-laws and other friends and relatives. As an old custom- she is made to savor special delicacies and she enjoys to the full while knowing other significant traditions.
Traditionally, the Lohri holy Bash is commemorated to welcome the bride in a warm and friendly way among all the family members and to introduce the new bride to one and all.
Lohri is also very important for a newly born baby. The mother is dressed up in new and gorgeous clothes and heavy jewelry, and Mehndi is applied on her hands in an elaborate pattern. She is asked to sit with the newborn baby in her arms and family, relatives, and friends gift her with fruits, sweets, clothes, jewelry, and money. On this noteworthy occasion, a group of people also perform Bhangra on the traditional songs around the fire in the ground. They also offer roasted peanuts, sesame ladoo, and other food items in the fire for the jollifications. The revelry goes on for the whole night along with dinner and soft drinks. These days Lohri has gained immense popularity and people not only in Punjab, but the whole of India, even in south India get together to celebrate the festival.
Traditionally in Maharashtra, it is known as Makar Sankranti and in Tamil Nadu, it is celebrated as Pongal. But the way in which this festival is celebrated in different parts of India is different. This also expresses the form of worship to Agni Dev (Fire God) and is majorly celebrated among the Hindu families on the River Banks to revere Surya Dev (Lord Sun) with much gusto and devotion.
Lohri is now mostly about lighting the bonfire in the biting cold and dancing and making merry around it. Since Lohri is marked as a festival that celebrates New Year, harvest, and fertility, these days we find people celebrating the occasion by planting trees and saplings. This is a great activity as they try to consciously compensate for the trees that are being cut all over.
Wishing all the newly-weds brides, sweet infants a very Happy Lohri. May God usher all the pleasures and good health on this festivity upon you all.