|A Lohri bonfire|
Today is the festival of Lohri. This festival is celebrated through out North India. This is a festival of good will, gaiety and glamour. There are several myths associated with the festival. It is mainly the harvest festival. It is believed that after the crops are harvested all the people assemble and celebrate by dancing and singing . A bonfire is lit and til(sesame) and moongphali(peanuts) are offered to God in thanks for the good harvest.Bhangra and Gidda dances are performed in gay abundance.
There is a popular legend of Dulla Bhatti Wala. According to a folk lore Dulla was a way side robber. He used to rob the rich and gave all the wealth to poor people. He also helped poor girls to get married and gave them good dowry. He is likened to Robin Hood.Lohri is celebrated in thanks giving to Dulla. In the morning children go from house to house, collecting money to light the bonfire. they sing a song in praise of Dulla, which goes as " Sundar munderiye, ho, Tera kaun vichara,ho, Dulla Bhatti wala, ho.......Lohri de bhai lohri de, ho" The word 'ho' is recited in a chorus People give them money or eatables .In the evening the elders in the family give money to the youngsters, who recite ,Lohri do,bhai, lohri do'. Every body eats dry fruits, nuts and sweet in front of the holy fire. and thank God .
This day is believed to be the shortest day of the year. They say that from this day on ward cold winter starts withdrawing. The festival is celebrated with great pomp and show in families in which a marriage or child birth has taken place during the year.
The next day after Lohri is Makar Sankrati, the beginning of the new year, This day signifies the arrival of the new year. This day is celebrated as Pongal, in Tamilnad, and Bihu in Assam.All these festivals convey the message of brotherhood and oneness.It is with a thankful prayer for a spirit of well being and bountiful life for humanity.Happy Lohri to all.
pic. courtesy google.