Lohri is a festival connected with the solar
year. Generally, it is an accepted fact that this festival is to worship
fire. This is particularly a happy occasion for the couples who for the
first time celebrated Lohri after their marriage and also the first
Lohri of the son born in a family. The wood crackles and burns, the fire
blazes high, a circle of warmth on a cold winter's night. Lohri is
essentially a festival dedicated to the Sun god. Lohri is a joyous time
to eat gur and peanuts, singing songs and share the warmth with your
family and loved ones.
A week before Lohri, children begin gathering firewood, hunting for
logs that will burn well. A spirit of good-natured rivalry binds the
community together and every one takes pride in making the biggest and
most grand bonfire in their neighborhood. Lohri is an important festival
which brings the entire community together, each family contributing
sweets made of til and gur, peanuts, tilchowli and many other delicious
The Guru Granth Sahib praises this auspicious time of the month and
says those who meditate before a fire will be blessed. Lohri, which
marks the highest point in winter, is considered especially important
for new born babies who are taken around the bonfire. They pray for
prosperity even as they make offerings of til (gingelly), moongphali
(peanuts) and chirwa (beaten rice) to the burning embers.
According to legend, a good Lohri sets the tone for the whole year
ahead - the more joyous and bountiful the occasion, the greater will be
the peace and prosperity. Some people believed that Holika and Lohri
were sisters. While the former vanished into the fire, Lohri survived
and lives on.
The rituals and celebrations associated with Makara Sankaranti and
Lohri are only symbolic of a common thanksgiving to nature as
represented by the Sun god, and in the process, the festivities embody a
spirit of brotherhood, unity and gratitude, with family reunions and
merrymaking generating a lot of happiness, goodwill and cheer.