Lohri Mythology: How Lohri became a famous festival
The spring is coming and so are the winters running away. Along with this beautiful change in the climate let’s welcome the most entertaining and melodious festival of Lohri. Lohri is an auspicious Punjabi festival; which is celebrated on 13th January every year. This popular winter festival is celebrated in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Jammu. The main attraction of Lohri is bonfire and Punjabi folk dance.
The festival is traditionally associated with the harvest of the rabi crops and also marks to be the largest celebration in the farmer families. Punjabi farmers see the day after Lohri (Maghi) as the financial New Year as well. Lots of myth on Lohri celebration exists; some say that Lohri is the celebration of longest night of the year. Many believe that it is an agricultural festival for harvest of winter crops. Some believe that Lohri has derived its name from Loi, the wife of Sant Kabir, for in rural Punjab Lohri is pronounced as Lohi.
According to Legends; the origin of Lohri is related to Dulla Bhatti; who is popularly known as “Robin Hood of Punjab”. He was the greatest Muslim robber of Punjab during the period of Mughal Rule (Akbar & his son Jahangir). He robbed from rich and distributed it among poor. He also rescued many Hindu Punjabi girls who were being taken forcefully to be sold in salve market. Then he used to arrange marriage for them according to Hindu rituals and provided them dowries. After his public execution in Lahore; in the memory of their savior the girls sang songs and dance around bonfire. This became a tradition of Punjab from that day and was celebrated gracefully all over Punjab annually as LOHRI. So in every Lohri songs have words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.
Celebration of Lohri festival starts with making small sculpture of Lohri goddess with cow dung. The final ceremony and most entertaining part of this festival begins with lighting a large bonfire at sunset, toss sesame seeds, gur, and sugar-candy in it. Then sit round it, sing Lohri songs and dance until the fire dies out. Lohri is also one of the most anticipated Hindu festivals around the globe. The most moving phfrase about Lohri is:-