‘Lohri’ is a festival associated with the solar year. In general, it is accepted that in this festival fire is worshiped. Occasion is happy for married couples who celebrate Lohri for the first time after marriage. Also, first ‘Lohri’ is celebrated when the son is born in the family. In the fire, the wood crackles and burns so the fire blazes high. There is a circle of warmth on the cold winter’s night. ‘Lohri’ is essentially a festival dedicated to Sun god. Celebration of ‘Lohri’ is joyous time. People eat gur and peanuts, sing songs and share warmth with family and loved ones.
Week before ‘Lohri’, children gather firewood. They hunt for logs that would burn well. Everyone is in high spirit of good natured rivalry that binds community together. Everyone takes pride in making biggest and grandest bonfire in their neighbourhood. ‘Lohri’ is an important festival which brings entire community together. Each family contributes sweets of ‘til’, ‘gur’, peanuts, ‘tilchowli’ and other homemade delicacies.
Guru Granth Sahib has praised this auspicious time of month. He has mentioned that those who meditate before the fire will be blessed. ‘Lohri’ marks highest point in winter. It is considered very important especially for new born babies to be taken around bonfire. While they make their offerings to the burning embers, people pray for prosperity. These offerings include ‘til’ [‘gingelly’], ‘moongphali’ [peanuts] and ‘chirwa’ [beaten rice].
According to legend, good ‘Lohri’ sets the tone for the whole year ahead. The more joyous and bountiful the occasion, the greater would be peace and prosperity. Some people believe that ‘Holika’ and ‘Lohri’ were sisters. While the former vanished into the fire, ‘Lohri’ survived and lives on.
The rituals and celebrations associated with ‘Makara Sankaranti’ and ‘Lohri’ are thanksgiving to Sun God. Festivities represent spirit of brotherhood, unity and gratitude, with family reunions. There is also merrymaking, generating lots of happiness, goodwill and cheerfulness.