Happy Lohri 2020: Lohri significance, history and folklore
Happy Lohri 2020: The harvest festival is celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm by people, who get along with their family and friends on this festive occasion.
Lohri is a very popular harvest festival, celebrated majorly in the North of India. The spirited festival is celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm by people, who get along with their family and friends on this festive occasion. Lohri is termed as the festival of farmers in Northern India and is observed a night before Makar Sankranti.
As per the Hindu solar calendar, Lohri falls in the Paush month, which is around January 13, as per the Gregorian calendar. At this point in time, the earth is closest to the sun. The festival also marks receding winters, the beginning of a new harvest season, and mostly falls on the same date every year. The festival is a time to offer prayers to Mother Earth, the Sun God, the fire and the fields for prosperity, health, and a good harvest.
The main winter crop of Punjab - wheat, which is sown in October is seen at its prime in January across the fields of Punjab. The crop is then later harvested in March. There is a special significance attached to the celebration of Lohri as this day the sun enters the Rashi (zodiac) of Makara (Capricorn), considered auspicious as it signifies a fresh start.
Along with offering prayers to the Gods for a healthy harvest which has brought prosperity to the families, people also offer peanuts, gur ki rewari, and makhana (fox nuts) to the bonfire, and then dance around it while singing popular folk songs. This is as an act to please the fire deity.
The vibe turns completely joyous when everybody dances to the beats of dhol, and dives into the scrumptious feast served. As per Punjabi folklore, the folk song, Sunder Mundriye has a special place in the hearts of women who have grown up hearing the stories of Dulla Bhatti or Abdullah of Pindi Bhattian.
Dulla Bhatti is said to have lived in Punjab during the reign of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He was considered the ‘Robin Hood’ of Punjab, as he would steal from the rich to provide for the poor, and rescue girls who were abducted to be sold in the slave markets. He would arrange the girls’ marriages to the village boys and provided them with dowry from the stolen loot. Amongst these girls were Sundri and Mundri, who have now come to be associated with Punjab’s folklore, Sunder Mundriye.
The song goes like this:
Sunder munderiye ho! (Beautiful girl)
Tera kaun vichaara ho! (Who will remember you?)
Dullah Bhatti walla ho! (Dullah of the Bhatti clan!)