“Mungfli di Khushboo te gurh di Mithaas, Maaki di roti te Sarso da saag, Dil di Khushi te aapneya da Pyaar”
Whats up India !!!! The Lohri festival is just two days away !! How many of you are done with the shopping for Lohri, like popcorns, gur sugar candy, rewaries, peanuts ( mungfli)? Also, how many of you have already visited or thinking to personally visit family & friends to share the same mithas as the gesture of respect and spreading love to them. Some of you would be saying, come on!! we don’t have time for all this, who does all that now? While, some would still try to make an effort, extract time from their busy schedule to maintain the tradition of Lohri and keep it alive for the next generation, in spite of saying ( “Aj Kal logo may woh phele jesi baat Nahi”).
My friend who has come from Pune to Delhi expressed her thrill to experience the Lohri festival in a proper tradition, desi way as people used to celebrate in ancient days, also as we get to see in movies like ( Veer Zara !!, in the song of oh agaye Lohri way !! :). So, in order to celebrate Lohri in a proper traditional way, I guess let me redefine and introduce her and to all of you what it is about and what all fun and loving day it is.
As per Hindu Calendar, Lohri is celebrated a day before ‘Makar Sankranti‘. The festival is celebrated based on many perceptions. It is believed that the day marks the end of the winter season, being the shortest day and the longest night of the year. In this festival, the key feature is bonfire; it signals the return of longer days. Also, the day is celebrated as a note to thank god for the good yield as the main crop wheat, rabi (winter) crop gets fully grown and is ready to be harvested. The festival is celebrated quietly enthusiastically in North India, Haryana, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh especially in Punjab. This festival becomes more eventful and important for the couples, to celebrate the first Lohri after their wedding. Similarly for the family when a son is born in the family for the first time. It is considered as another one important moment to seek blessings from all for the beginning of new partnership or new life.
One the day of Lohri, during the day, kids go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti and gets sweets and savories, and occasionally, money from elders “. It is a small gesture to get “ Appana da Pyaar”
In order to enjoy to the fullest, for the festival people get dressed up in vibrant, gaudy, glittery colors, bold prints, bright embroidery stuff (Traditional dress for this occasion). Pulkaries ( heavy embroidery dupatta and shawls)add the extra charm in order to look true Punjabi women and have the real feel for the festival.
With huge excitement and happiness about the bonfire, in a public area large number of people gathering (neighbors, friends, family) takes place. The bonfire is the central point of all action. People toss all the Lohri ( Sesame seeds, rewaries,puliya, gajak, peanuts) in the bonfire. Some people do the prayer while Lohri is thrown into the fire for a good and blissful year. After worshipping fire and prayer, people sit around, sing and dance till the fire actually dies out.
Lohri’s bonfire excitement pitches everyone to dance their heart out to the beats of Sundar Mundriye, Dama Dum Mast Kalandar, Saanu Ek Pal Chain Na Aave, Charkhe Di Kook and Ghoomm Charakhda and this how they get“ dil di Khushi”.Men perform bhangra ( traditional Punjabi folk dance) on the beats of live dhol( drum) and the women do the gidda.
Also, like any other festival of India, food is something which we cannot ignore. Also, in punjabies, there is a phrase that food considered as a route to win people’s heart. Therefore, on the auspicious day people have a feast includes relish authentic Punjabi delicacies like Paneer Choliya Di Dal, Keema Chakundari, Mah Chole Di Dal, Dhabe Ka Kukkad, Amritsari Machhi, Ganne Di Kheer and as the patent dish, Maki ki roti & Sarsao ka saag with lots of butter on top of it !! 😛
Come on people!! Since India is the land of festivals, Just like my friend, Why don’t you all too head out and make your way to the north part of India, to rejoice this popular festival, witness the splendid Lohri celebration and simultaneously feast your eyes to different landscape or the lush field golden crops of Punjab? Also, as the name is given to the occasion, the Lohri Festival itself states– the courage of oneness and the union of brotherhood should reign in spite of all obstacles. So let’s all unite and celebrate this energetic, beautiful festival together. Let’s all get enthusiastic and redefine the celebration of Lohri this year, by coming together and spreading the warmth by touching the heart of each other, while joining all on Lohri( bonfire night) on ( 13th Jan). Also, pass the same zeal of festival to our children, family and upcoming generation.
I am going to take my Pune friend for some pulkari shopping to give her a look of true Punjabi kudi( girl) for Friday the 13th( Jan) and make some arrangements for live dhol. What are you all going to do?
Do let us know about your this year, Lohri experience.