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Why do we celebrate Lohri?

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    Posted: 14January2011 at 1:33am
I did not find any good reply to my question outside
thus thought lets get some answer in the forum :)

Lohri and Makar Sangranti...
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Origin of Lohri


Lohri%20Festival
The origin of the Lohri can be traced back to the tale of Dulla Bhatti. By the end of the first week of January, small groups of boys ring the doorbell of houses and start chanting the Lohri songs related to Dulla Bhatti. In turn, the people give them popcorn, peanuts, crystal sugar, sesame seeds (til) or gur as well as money. Turning them back empty-handed is regarded inauspicious.

Lohri marks the end of winter on the last day of Paush, and beginning of Magha (around January 12 and 13), when the sun changes its course. It is associated with the worship of the sun and fire and is observed by all communities with different names, as Lohri is an exclusively Punjabi festival. The questions like When it began and why is lost in the mists of antiquity.

The origin of Lohri is related to the central character of most Lohri songs is Dulla Bhatti, a Muslim highway robber who lived in Punjab during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Besides robbing the rich, he rescued Hindu girls being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East. He arranged their marriages to Hindu boys with Hindu rituals and provided them with dowries. Understandably, though a bandit, he became a hero of all Punjabis. So every other Lohri song has words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.

Some believe that Lohri has derived its name from Loi, the wife of Sant Kabir, for in rural Punjab Lohri is pronounced as Lohi. Others believe that Lohri comes from the word 'loh', a thick iron sheet tawa used for baking chapattis for community feasts. Another legend says that Holika and Lohri were sisters. While the former perished in the Holi fire, the latter survived. Eating of til (sesame seeds) and rorhi (jaggery) is considered to be essential on this day. Perhaps the words til and rorhi merged to become tilorhi, which eventually got shortened to Lohri.

Ceremonies that go with the festival of Lohri usually comprises of making a small image of the Lohri goddess with gobar (cattle dung), decorating it, kindling a fire beneath it and chanting its praises. The final ceremony is to light a large bonfire at sunset, toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries in it, sit round it, sing, dance till the fire dies out. People take dying embers of the fire to their homes. In Punjabi village homes, fire is kept going round the clock by use of cow-dung cakes.



Edited by Khoji - 14January2011 at 2:17am
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The Legends of Lohri


The%20Legends%20of%20Lohri
There are few renowned legends associated with this historic festival of Punjab, the most significant of them being the Dullah Bhatti, which evolved around the Festival of Lohri. Lohri marks the end of the dreary and awfully cold month of Pos (mid Dec to mid Jan) and the next day of Makar Sakranti, ushers in the bright and sunny month of Magh. This is particularly a happy occasion for the couples who for the first time celebrated Lohri after their marriage and also the first Lohri of the son born in a family.

The Legend of Sun God
Few days before Lohri, a bevy of village maidens assemble and visit the households to ask cow-dung cake. The girls gather round the house and chant: We've come, all the girls of the village! We've come to your courtyard! And so they go from house to house collecting cow-dung cakes till they have a veritable pile. They deposit all of them in one house and return to their homes. Their is a valid reason for girls to perform this ritual.

Lohri is celebrated on the last day of the month of Pans to mark the end of winter. It is said that the forefathers formulated a sacred mantra which protected them from the cold. This mantra invoked the Sun God to send them so much heat that the winter cold would not affect them. And, in thanks-giving to the Sun God, they chanted this mantra round a fire on the last day of Pans. The Lohri fire is symbolic of the homage to the sun. A song is sung on this occasion:

“Where have the shawls and braziers gone?
To the golden mountain Where's the golden mountain gone?
To the sun's ray Where has the sun's ray gone?
To the sun Where's the sun gone?
To the fire The fire burns, the ray warms
The snows melt, the cold days have ended.”

Our ancients believed that the flames of the fires they lit took their message to the sun, and that is why on the morning after Lohri, which is the first of the new month Magh, the sun's rays suddenly turn warm and take the chill out of people’s bones.

Another version of Lohri
"There is also another version of Lohri. In olden times, human beings lit fires to keep away flesh-eating animals and protect their habitations. Everyone contributed to this communal fire, for which young boys and girls collected firewood from the jungle. That is why even today when people burn cow-dung cakes it is teenagers who go around collecting them. The Lohri bonfire is symbolic of our old method of protecting ourselves as well as a form of fire worship. It is to the Lohri fire that couples pray for more children and parents for husbands for their unmarried daughters.

The Legend of Dullah Bhatti
On the eve of Lohri the most popular songs sung by groups of boys invariably end with the exclamation 'ho':
The%20Legend%20of%20Dulla%20Bhatti
Sundri Mundri Hei! Hoi!
Tera Kaun Bechara! Hoi!
Dullah Bhatti wala! Hoi!
Dullah Di Dhi viyahi ! Hoi !
Sher ShaKar pai! Hoi!
Kuri de Mamme aaye! Hoi!
UnaNe ChuRi Kuti! Hoi!
Jimidari Lutti! Hoi!
Ik kola GhuT Gaya!
Jimidar Apni......


Since Lohri is also associated with weddings, many Lohri songs are based on the old love story of Dulla Bhatti. This is the tale of a man who rescued a girl from her cruel abductors and adopted her. Finally he arranged for her marriage, as if she were his own daughter. These songs exhort the youth to protect the honor of their sisters and daughters, and punish those who try to dishonor them. Everywhere in Punjab ‘Vars’ (songs) of his heroism and valor are sung and recited.
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The History of Lohri


The%20History%20of%20Lohri
The history of Lohri, a seasonal festival of North India is as old as that of story of Indus Valley civilization itself. The Festival of Lohri marks the beginning of the end of winter and the coming of spring and the new year. The fires lit at night, the hand warming, the song and dance and the coming together of an otherwise atomized community, are only some of the features of this festival. The Lohri of north India coincides with Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Magha Bihu in Assam, Tai Pongal in Kerala, all celebrated on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.

There are some interesting socio-cultural and folk-legends connected with Lohri. According to the cultural history of Punjab, Bhatti, a Rajput tribe during the reign of Akbar, inhabited parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Gujarat (now in Pakistan). Dulla Bhatti, Raja of Pindi Bhattian, was put to death by the Mughal king for revolting against him. The tribal mirasis (street singers) trace the history of the tribe and interestingly, claim Maharaja Ranjit Singh as one of its scions.

Dulla Bhatti, like Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor. The people of the area loved and respected him. He once rescued a girl from kidnappers and adopted her as his daughter. His people would remember their hero every year on Lohri. Groups of children moved from door to door, singing the Dulla Bhatti folk-song: "Dulla Bhatti ho! Dulle ne dhi viyahi ho! Ser shakar pai ho!" (Dulla gave his daughter a kilo of sugar as a marriage gift).

Lohri is essentially a festival dedicated to fire and the sun god. It is the time when the sun transits the zodiac sign Makar (Capricorn), and moves towards the north. In astrological terms, this is referred to as the sun becoming Uttarayan. The new configuration lessens the ferocity of winter, and brings warmth to earth. It is to ward off the bitter chill of the month of January that people light bonfires, dance around it in a mood of bonhomie and celebrate Lohri.

Fire is associated with concepts of life and health. Fire, like water, is a symbol of transformation and regeneration. It is the representative of the sun, and is thus related, on the one hand with rays of light, and on the other with gold. It is capable of stimulating the growth of cornfields and the well being of man and animals. It is the imitative magic purporting to assure the supply of light and heat. It is also an image of energy and spiritual strength. That is why the Lohri fire gets sanctified and is venerated like a deity. On this occasion, people offer peanuts, popcorn and sweets made of til- chirva, gajak and revri – to propitiate fire as a symbol of the sun god.
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Customs and Traditions of Lohri


Customs%20and%20Traditions%20of%20Lohri
The various customs and traditions attached to the festival of Lohri signifies the harvesting of the Rabi crops. The people of Northern India, especially Punjab and Haryana celebrate Lohri, to mark the end of winter. Harvested fields and front yards are litup with flames of bonfires, around which people gather to meet friends and relatives and sing folk songs. For Punjabis, this is more than just a festival; it is also an example of their love for celebrations. Lohri celebrates fertility and the joy of life. People gather around bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing popular and folksongs and exchange greetings.

In the morning, children go from door to door singing songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi version of Robin Hood who robbed from the rich and helped the poor. These visitors are usually given money as they knock on their neighbor’s doors. In the evening, people gather around bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice, and popcorn into the flames, sing popular folk songs and exchange greetings.

The Bonfire Customs & Tradition
In the evening, with the setting of the sun, huge bonfires are lit in the harvested fields and in the front yards of houses and people gather around the rising flames, circle around (parikrama) the bonfire and throw puffed rice, popcorn and other munchies into the fire, shouting "Aadar aye dilather jaye" (May honor come and poverty vanish!), and sing popular folk songs. This is a sort of prayer to Agni, the fire god, to bless the land with abundance and prosperity.

After the parikrama, people meet friends and relatives, exchange greetings and gifts, and distribute prasad (offerings made to god). The prasad comprises five main items: til, gajak, jaggery, peanuts, and popcorn. Winter savories are served around the bonfire with the traditional dinner of makki-ki-roti (multi-millet hand-rolled bread) and sarson-ka-saag (cooked mustard herbs).

On the Lohri day everyone gets into their best clothes and is festive. Gifts of sweets are exchanged. The courtyard and rooms of the house are swept and sprinkled with water. As the sun sets, all people dress up in their best and gather around the bonfire. Newly wed ones wear jewelery. The new-born are given little combs to hold. The a burning fagot is brought from the hearth and sets the Lohri bonfire alight. As the flames leap up, the girls throw sesame seed in them and bow. Someone sings:

“Let purity come, dirt depart
Dirt be uprooted and its roots Cast in the fire.”


People throw sticks of sugarcane into the fire and an aroma of burning sugar spreads in the atmosphere. Girls light fireworks and sparklers. The fire's glow lights faces with a golden hue. People sing and dance till the early hours of the morning, and little children sleep in their mother's laps.

When people throw sesame seeds in the fire they ask for sons. The saying is: As many as the elder brother's wife throws, so many sons the younger brother's wife will bear. That is why in homes where there is a new-born son or a newly wed man, Lohri is celebrated with even greater enthusiasm, and sweets made of molasses and sesame seed are sent to relatives and friends. Since the Punjabi word for sesame seed is til and for molasses rorhi the festival is also called Tilori.

Lohri is also an occasion when parents give presents to their newly married daughters. "For peasants, Lohri marks the beginning of a new financial year because on this day they settle the division of the products of the land between themselves and the tillers.
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Thank you Khoji ji
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In the morning on Lohri day, children go from door to door singing and demanding the Lohri 'loot' in the form of money and eatables like til (sesame) seeds, peanuts, jaggery, or sweets like gajak, rewri, etc. They sing:

“Dabba bharaya leera da”
“Ai ghar ameera da”


Translation: Box filled of cloths strips..this house is of the rich!

And those who weren't that generous had to face a bunch of kids chanting the following:

“Hukka bhai Hukkaa”
“Ai ghar bhukka”


Translation: Hukka! Oh! Hukka!..this house is full of misers!

Apparently the central character of most Lohri songs is Dulla Bhatti, a Muslim highway robber who lived in Punjab during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Besides robbing the rich, he rescued Hindu girls being forcibly taken to be sold in the slave market of the Middle East. He arranged their marriages to Hindu boys with Hindu rituals and provided them with dowry. Understandably, though a bandit, he became a hero of all Punjabis. So every other Lohri song has words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.

This translation of the Lohri song by Vani presents it as a boliyaan match between girls and boys:

Lohri Girls Songs

“Hulle nee maiyee hulle
do beri patte jhulle
do jhul payeaan kahjurran
khajurran suttya meva
es munde de ghar mangeva
es munde di voti nikdi
oh! khandi choori, kutdi
Kut! Kut! Bharaya thaal woti bave nananaa nal
Ninaan te wadi parjaee
So kudma de ghar aayee!
My bebe doesn?t remember the lines after this so she tells me..
Chant
mein lohri lain aayee!”


Translation
“Two berry leaves are hanging
Two date leaves are also hanging
The tree shed the fruit
There’s an engagement in this boy’s house
This boy’s wife is short
She eats and grinds choori(a punjabi dish)
She grinds and grinds and fills the plate?.the wife sits with her sisters in law
Sister in law and the elder son’s wife
Are in their in-laws house
My bebe doesn’t remember the lines after this so she tells me..
Chant
I have come to take my Lohri ”

Lohri Boys Songs

“Te 'ho's are in chorus
Sunder mundriye ho!

Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Lohri%20SongsSer shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee pakad ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari eet!
Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi! (Cry or howl!)
Paheenve ro te phannve pit! ”


Translation
“The 'ho's are in chorus
Who do you have
The groom with the tandoor
The groom’s daughter got married
He gave 1 kg sugar!
The girl is wearing a red suit!
But her shawl is torn!
Who will stitch her shawl?!
The uncle made choori!
The landlords ate it!
He made the landlords eat a lot!
Lots of innocent guys came
One innocent boy got left behind
The police arrested him!
The policeman hit him with a brick!
Cry or howl!
Give us lohri ..long live your jodi!”

Lohri Fun Songs



Apart from this traditional Lohri Songs, there are other punjabis songs that are sung on this day and depicts the liveliness and zest of Punjabi culture.

“Mukai da dana, Aana lei ke jana…
hulle hulare
asi ganga chale
sas sora chale
jeth jathani chale
dyor darani chale
pairi shaunkan chali
hulle hulare

asi ganga pohnche
sas sora pohnche
jeth jathani pohnche
dyor darani pohnche
pairi shaunkan pohnchi
hulle hulare

asi ganga nahte shava or hulle
jeth jathani nahte
dyor darani nahte
pairi shaunkan nahtii
hulle hulare

shaunkan paili pauri
shaunkan duji pauri
shaunkan tiji pauri
maiti dhakka ditta
shaukan vichhe rud gayi
hulle hulare

sas sora ron
jeth jathani ron
dyor darani ron
paira oh wi rove

main kya tusi kyon ronde
tvade jogi main batheri
mainu dyo badhaiyaan ji
Hulle Hullare”


Send%20Your%20Lohri%20SongsTranslation
“We set off to have a holy bath in the Ganges
Mother and father in law tagged along
Elder brother and sister in law tagged along
Younger brother and sister in law tagged along
But that bitch my co-wife too latched on

We reached the bank of the Ganges
Mother and father in law landed up
Elder brother and sister in law landed up
Younger brother and sister in law landed up
But that bitch my co-wife too landed up there

We bathed in the Ganges
Mother and father in law had a bath
Elder brother and sister in law had a bath
Younger brother and sister in law had a bath
But that bitch my co-wife too had a bath

Co-wife climbed the first step
Co-wife climbed the second step
Co-wife reached the third step
I gave her a shove
Co-wife drowned in the stream

Mother and father in law wail
Elder brother and sister in law wail
Younger brother and sister in law wail
But that bastard also wailed
I said why do you wail
I am good enough for you

Congratulate me
I have returned after drowning my co-wife”

Life is short, energy limited, with this limited energy we have to find the unlimited; with this short life we have to find the eternal. Don?t waste it with unimportant matters

Khoji

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gurdeep Singh87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14January2011 at 3:14am
veerji ki gurmat saanu kuj lorhi baare dasdi hai??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gurbachan2007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14January2011 at 11:27am
Great khoj of khoji ji about lori
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gurbachan2007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14January2011 at 11:32am
Gurmat sanu lori barey kuch nahee dasdee .Jitho tak meri knowledge hai.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Narinder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19January2011 at 6:45am

I never tried to explore what is Lohri or Sakrant, though we eat a lot of groundnuts, rewari, ghazak, popcorn on lohri... that is all. My brother was telling that in gurdwaras, lectures are given on not to celebrate lohri as this is not a sikh festival.

 

But this time, we had a different experience. One of my daughters never seen any lohri (firewoor or so) and she wanted me to do this. I along with my neighbour went to all our neighbourhood to collect wood and invited them to make a SANJHI LOHRI.

 

We were surprised when a lot of wood was collected in front of our house and people began gathering to enjoy the firewood in shivering evening. I think it was not only a celebration but also a kind of fun as we met the people to whom we never saw before, though they lived in the same street but due to busy schedules of everyone, no one knows who lives the next to their house. Really it was a great time when we all together had rewari, gazzak, groundnut and sat near the woodfire for long.

It was togetherness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gurbachan2007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19January2011 at 6:45pm
Lohri festival sirf mann (mind) nu khush karan vaastey hai.
ਨਚਣੁ ਕੁਦਣੁ ਮਨ ਕਾ ਚਾਉ
नचणु कुदणु मन का चाउ ॥
Nacẖaṇ kuḏaṇ man kā cẖā▫o.
They dance and jump around on the urgings of their minds.

ਨਾਨਕ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਮਨਿ ਭਉ ਤਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਾ ਮਨਿ ਭਾਉ ॥੨॥
नानक जिन्ह मनि भउ तिन्हा मनि भाउ ॥२॥
Nānak jinĥ man bẖa▫o ṯinĥā man bẖā▫o. ||2||
O Nanak, those whose minds are filled with the Fear of God, have the love of God in their minds as well. ||2||
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jujhar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13January2012 at 12:11am
As far as I understand Lohri is related to farmers and agriculture...but this festival can be used symbolically and we can try to burn the vices with the help of godly qualities and lead a happy life...:)
�.���`�."Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it"�.���`�.�
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jujhar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13January2012 at 5:18am
�.���`�."Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it"�.���`�.�
Request- This is Everyone's forum, so please participate in it by posting...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karan Singh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13January2012 at 7:15am
Jujhar veerji, Hehe I was going to post the same link :p
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