Date and Shubh Muhurat
Lohri falls around the same time as Makar Sankranti, generally a day before it. So, it usually falls on 13th January every year. However, due to Sun’s transit happening in Capricorn on 02:23 am on 15th January, Makar Sankranti is falling on 15th January 2020. So, Lohri will be celebrated on 14th January. Many places will still be celebrating Lohri on 13th January.
Lohri marks the last few days and the end of the cold days of winter, the end of autumn. The duration of days after Lohri increases. The festival is celebrated enthusiastically mainly by the followers of Sikhism in Punjab and Haryana. Being a harvest festival, the joy among the farmers multiply manifold on Lohri, expressing gratitude to the God for a good harvest of Rabi crops.This is a festival of dance (Bhangra), food and traditional folk songs. Lohri is also seen as the start of a new financial year when new agricultural tenancies are created and rents are collected by the landlords.
The festival is celebrated in the evening before Makar Sankranti. Lohri is burnt in an open area near the house and peanuts, jaggery, gajak, sesame seeds (til), and maize are circled around the fire. Drums, Bhangra and traditional folk songs complete the celebrations. The festival also reminisces the tale of Dulla Bhatti who had protected the girls of Punjab. This festival is considered special for the newly-weds and it is believed that they should seek blessings for their happy married life from the auspicious fire.
Beliefs and legends
It is believed that the term ‘Lohri’ has been derived from the name of the wife of Sant Kabir, ‘Loi’. Another belief comes from the word ‘Loh’ which literally translates into ‘light and and warmth of fire’. It is also said that Holika and Lohri were sisters and it was Lohri who survived the fire with Prahlad while Holika could not.