The spirited festival is celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm by people, who get along with their family and friends on this festive occasion. It is a very popular harvest festival, celebrated in the North of India. Many people believe the festival commemorates the passing of the winter solstice and marks the end of winter.
Lohri is a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere by Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab region.
The main winter crop of Punjab – wheat, which is sown in October is seen at its prime in January across the fields of Punjab. The crop is then later harvested in March. There is a special significance attached to the celebration of Lohri as this day the sun enters the Rashi (zodiac) of Makara (Capricorn), considered auspicious as it signifies a fresh start.
With offering prayers to the Gods for a healthy harvest which has brought prosperity to the families, people also offer peanuts, gur ki rewari, and makhana to the bonfire, and then dance around it while singing popular folk songs. Lohri holds special significance for the newly-married couple or the new-born child in the family as family members and relatives gather together to celebrate their first Lohri. It is also traditional to eat “til rice” which is made by mixing jaggery, sesame seeds and rice on this day.