What is the Bhuah’s role in her nephew’s 1st Lohri? What gifts should I present to him and my brother and Bhabi?
Lohri is celebrated on January 13 to commence the winter harvest, traditionally associated with the harvest of the Rabi crops (crops planted in Autumn and harvested in winter, such as wheat and barley). Another element of Lohri is the celebration of new beginnings. Families celebrate the birth of a child by throwing a party for friends and family. Like most Punjabi celebrations this involves lots of food, singing and dancing. Punjabis who live abroad celebrate Lohri in this manner. The following is a link about Dhulla Bhatti and his importance to Lohri: http://nonstopbhangra.com/lohri-stories-the-legend-of-dulla-bhatti/
The Bhuah does not play a specific role in the Lohri celebration, but she is there to help and support the new parents in any way she can. Gifts are usually presented at Lohri celebrations and they can vary. Traditionally, the Bhuah gives an Indian suit to the mother and a shirt or turban to the father. She also gives a gift to the baby such as money, clothing and/or a toy. Some families also give gold to the baby. These days gifts can depend on the style and needs of the person. Instead of an Indian suit, the gift can be western clothing or a gift card for a store of the parent’s choice. Instead of gold, money for an Education savings plan is a nice idea. If you have not formally given a gift to the baby yet, a Lohri celebration is a good time to do this.
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 in India, but has become the norm. I am pleased to see that the next generation has begun celebrating Lohri for the birth of daughters too. We all know that any birth is a reason for celebration! Happy Lohri and enjoy your nephew’s big day!