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January 2016
Indian Heritage - Lohri

Lohri festival is a popular festival that is mostly celebrated by the Punjabi people, especially in the agricultural lands during the winter festival. It is widely celebrated in states like Punjab, Delhi, Jammu, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Lohri festival origins back and link to festivities in Punjab. Lohri forms an integral part of folklore. It is known that Lohri is a cultural celebration of winter solstice. It is known to be a celebration of the shortest day of the year. Bonfire is an important part of the bonfire. Lighting of the fire is common during the winter solstice and throughout all time. It is to signify that the longer days come sooner. People have a religious meeting with pagan origins. For some it is a just a tradition.

Indian origins of the Lohri
Lohri festival is celebrated during the winter solstice. Punjabis celebrate this occasion on the last day of the month at the time when the solstice takes place. Lohri festival links to the bikrami calendar and intertwining of the festival of maker sankranti. Since the celebration was during the winter solstice, Lohri night was known to be the longest night of the year, right after the day of the Lohri. The day light increases during this day. After the day of the Lohri is MakarSankranti, during which the days get bigger. Shortest day of the year is around December 21-22 after which the days start to gets longer. Lohri is celebrated during the winter solstice, especially time beginning time of December 21st and December 22nd.

Lohri – Seasonal and Harvest Festival
This Lohri festival is linked to the harvest of Rabi crops. People pray to Gods with the offering of peanuts, rewri, butter, flour and many other food items. This is a religious place to thanks god by worshipping them. This is to pray to God for better harvesting of crops for the next season. Punjabis continue to practice the Punjabi Folk religion. Lohri festival is mostly a festival that is dedicated to the ending of the winter seasons. Teej or Teeyan is dedicated mostly during the rainy or the monsoon season. Finally the basant season is dedicated to the season of spring. The Lohri festival is also known to be an important financial year for the Punjabi farmers.

Lohri festival is associated with DullaBhatti. The central character is DullaBhatti who lived in the Punjab region during the rule of the mogul emperor. He was a brave hero of Punjab. He helped the poor people in many ways. His lineage was from the BhattiRajputs. Other legends of the Lohri includes Loi, Loh, Holika, Lohri, Prahlad, Til and Reodi. Apart from Punjab, Lohri festival is celebrated in the northern states of Haryana, Delhi, Jammu and Himachal Pradesh.

Reasons for Lohri Festival
Lohri is devoted to be the last and the coldest days of the winter. In any houses where there is childbirth, Lohri celebrations are known to bring good luck. There are private Lohri celebrations in various houses with ritual performed with various Lohri songs. Singing and dancing are an integral part of the Lohri festival. Most of the songs are Punjabi songs as people dance with the brightest clothes.

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