Count Down to Lohri
Happy New Year to all my bachai lok. May 2013 bring you much peace, joy and love.
As we complete our celebrations of bringing in the New Year, many Punjabis begin preparing for another celebration – Lohri. Celebrated January 13, Lohri is a multi-pronged festival. Different people celebrate for different reasons. It is celebrated to commence the winter harvest, to signify the end of winter and the beginning of warm weather. It is also a celebration of new beginnings. Families celebrate the birth of a child or a new marriage on this date.
Your Aunty recommends celebrating Lohri with your family and friends to mark any auspicious occasion. Unfortunately, over the years, the Punjabi community has begun celebrating Lohri for the birth of sons only. This is not the reason our ancestors celebrated Lohri, but it has now become the norm. Let’s move to change this gender-biased distortion of a beautiful tradition by encouraging your family to celebrate Lohri for the birth of our daughters too. After all, we all know that any birth is reason for celebration!
During your celebration, remember that a significant component of Lohri is building a fire in which you can throw peanut shells and sesame seeds while making a wish. If you have an outdoor fire pit, gather your family around and celebrate with a real fire. If not, commemorate the day by sitting by the fireplace in your home while eating shelled peanuts and radhian.
Finally, did you know that Lohri is connected to Dulha Bhatti. Dulha Bhatti is a Punjabi legend similar to Robin Hood. He was known for stealing from the rich and giving to poor. He also rescued Hindu girls who were kidnapped to be sold into slavery and arranged their marriages to suitable boys. He even provided the dowry. This legendary character is commemorated in the traditional songs of Lohri which we still hear today.
To learn more about Lohri including how to plan a celebration, visit Auntyji’s Lohri page.