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Saturday, January 14, 2012


It is 13th of January today and ‘Lohri’ the sacred festival associated with ‘the mother of all bonfires’ is being celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety all over Punjab. Families with new born babies and newly married couples celebrate it with great pomp and show. In the evening young girls and women adorned in their special Lohri attire and ethnic jewellery dance and sing around the bonfire to the beats of Dhol. Excitement and thrill rise every minute with the foot tapping music and dancers stop for breather and start all over again. The festivities continue till late at night or till people have their fill.

Traditional Lohri sweets like peanut jaggery bars, crunchy sugary squares coated with sesame seeds, groundnuts, popcorns and carrot sweetmeats remain the hot favourites of all during the festival.

Lohri is also celebrated with much enthusiasm and cheer in colleges and schools. Special functions are organized where children dance and sing decked in their colourful dresses. Sweets are also distributed among them.

Punjab being an agrarian state, the festival signifies a sort of rest period for the farming community after harvesting rice crop and sowing wheat crop. Lohri augurs good omens for all. It ushers in a period of bonhomie and camaraderie in society. It brings a change in the weather and gives respite from biting cold. It fills everybody with cheer and hope and decimates cynicism at the altar of mighty fire. It provides an excuse to rejoice and make merry. The pent up negativities are driven away in the gay abandon of Bhangra and Giddha.

I recall the way my parents used to celebrate it year after year with us pitching in with firewood and cow dung cakes (our gardener’d bring some) and sit around the fire and my mom insisting that all of us throw a palmful of rice, sesame seeds and jaggery in the fire while singing a couplet-udam aye dalidar jaye, dalidar the jar chule paye- let you be blessed with the ability to initiate good deeds and let sloth be destroyed in the fire. This ritual made me feel so good. I followed this practice to make my children aware of our festive traditions. After they flew away from the nest I somehow stopped. However, I make it a point of buying Lohri sweets and prepare a special dish to savour it the next day which is the holiest day of Makar Sankranti, the first day of the month of Magh according to Vikrami samvat (calendar).


  1. We were discussing abut Lohri just this evening, and I was wondering why is the festival celebrated, and here is your post!
    Now I know what is Lohri, Have fun.

  2. Thanks Pattu,today we're having slow continuous rain.This soakingly soft spell of rain is considered very timely for the proper growth of wheat crop and also it'll soothen the dry effect of cold.
    For me it is nature's propitious gesture as it blesses you with a chance of sitting cozily wrapped in the delicious warmth of the quilt and stepping out of bed just to do the minimum.Calm and quiet and no door bell ringing.
    I've also experienced this spontaneous communication.This happens (i think) when two people bond affectionately.

  3. I am feeling very blessed.My wordpress is not allowing me to comment!!!