Lohri Festival 2024: Date, History, Significance, and Rituals

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Lohri Festival 2024

Lohri is a popular festival which is celebrated especially in North India. Lohri Festival 2024 marks the end of winter solstice and is celebrated to mark the end of the coldest days and the beginning of longer and warmer days. It is also celebrated to mark the harvesting season in Punjab. Lohri is referred to by other names also such as Pongal in South, Uttarayan in Gujarat, Makar Sankranti, and Lal Loi. Read this article to learn more about the Lohri festival 2024, when it is celebrated, its history, significance, rituals, and more!

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When is the Lohri Festival Celebrated?

Lohri Festival 2024
Source: Events and Festivals in India 

Lohri also known as Lal Loi is celebrated on the eve of Makar Sankranti. It is celebrated on 14 January every year. This Indian festival marks the beginning of the harvest season of the rabi crops. 

So just a day before Makar Sankranti, the people celebrate lohri with much fanfare and enthusiasm, especially in Punjab. 

It is also celebrated in other parts of India such as Haryana, Jammu, and Himachal Pradesh. People burn bonfires, sing songs, dance, and enjoy. 

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Lohri Festival is Celebrated in which State?

Source: Smunni TV Dharmik Stories

Lohri is traditionally celebrated in Punjab as it is associated with the harvest of winter crops. January is the time to harvest sugarcane crops. The Punjabi farmers after Lohri consider it as the financial New Year. 

Lohri is an official holiday in Punjab. It is also celebrated in the neighbouring states of Punjab such as Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Himachal Pradesh with great enthusiasm.

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What is the Story of the Lohri Festival?

The word Lohri is derived from the word “Loh” which means the light of fire and its warmth. The origin of this festival dates back to the story of Dhulla Bhatti. His full name was Rai Abdulla Bhatti. He was a legendary man in Punjab also known as the legendary hero of Punjab. He fought against the Mughal Emperor Akbar and rescued Punjabi girls from being forcibly taken to the Middle East market to be sold as slaves. 

Due to this bravery, he became the central element of the songs of Lohri. Every Lohri song has his name in the lyrics to express gratitude towards him.

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Significance of the Lohri Festival

Punjab, the breadbasket of India produces an excessive amount of wheat which is the staple food of the country. Wheat is generally sown in October and harvested in March and April. So, just before the harvest of the winter crops, the farmers celebrate Lohri in January when the field is full of winter crops and promise a profitable and golden harvest.

January, which is regarded as the coldest month of the year also referred to as Paush comes to an end as the earth starts it journey towards the sun from the farthest point from the sun. 

Lohri marks the beginning of Magh and Uttarayan. According to the Bhagavad Gita, it is the time when Lord Krishna comes in his full magnificence. The Hindus consider this day as the best time to annul their sins by taking a bath in the holy river Ganges.

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Lohri Rituals

Lohri is associated with various rituals. The most important one is the bonfire tradition. The harvested fields in front yards are lit up with bonfires. All people come together and meet with friends and family around the bonfire and sing folk songs. But for the Punjabi community, Lohri is much more than this. It celebrates the fertility and joy of life.

People show gratitude towards God and throw sweets, popcorn, and puffed rice into the flames and greet each other. While doing the parikrama around the bonfire people shout “Aadar aye dilather jaye” which means (May honor come and poverty vanish!). The Prasad of Lohri contains five food items: til, gajak, jaggery, peanuts, and popcorn.

All these celebrations take place in dawn while, in the daytime, children visit door-to-door singing and praising Dhula Bhatti who helped the poor and needy from the Mughal Emperor Akbar. 

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What does Lohri celebrated for?

Lohri is celebrated to mark the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. It is mainly associated with the harvest of rabi crops. This festival is celebrated on 14th January i.e. just a day before Makar Sankranti.

Why is Lohri celebrated on 14th January?

The date of the Lohri celebration is expected to shift every 70 years due to the planetary shifts around the sun. In the late 19th century, it was celebrated on 11 January but later in mid 20th century, it was celebrated on 14 January. 

Is Lohri and Makar Sankranti same?

Yes, Lohri and Makar Sankranti are the same festival. It is celebrated across different parts of India but with different names. It is Pongal in the South, Lohri in the North, Makar Sankranti in the Western parts, and Uttarayan in Gujarat.

This was all about the Lohri Festival 2024. For more such articles, make sure to check the trending events page of Leverage Edu.

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