Lohri, the Punjabi harvest festival, will be celebrated on January 14, Wednesday this year. Lohri festival is a celebration of the winter crop season. Prayers are offered to Surya, the Sun God, on this day. Lohri is observed just a night before Makar Sankranti, a festival that marks the end of the month with the winter solstice and beginning of longer days. Lohri is a traditional welcome of longer days and Sun's journey to the northern hemisphere by Sikhs and Hindus in Punjab. It is an official restricted holiday in the state.
Happy Lohri 2020: Lohri traditions and rituals
- On Lohri festival, the Hindu and the Sikh communities light a holy bonfire that signifies passing of the winter solstice.
- Bonfires, an important part of the festivities, are lit as families dance to Punjabi folk songs.
- Festive food include groundnut, sesame-jaggery mixed sweets called rewari and popcorns.
- People also fly kites on this day and the sky is dotted with multi-coloured kites like "Tukkal", "Chhaj", "Pari" of different sizes and shapes carrying Happy Lohri and Happy New Year messages.
- Makar Sankranti fosters the spirit of brotherhood while Lohri is observed as a celebration of new harvest.
- Women perform gidda, the folk dance of Punjab and men perform bhangra dance to celebrate the Lohri festival.
- Bonfire and folk songs are a major part of the celebration, and prayers are offered to the holy fire followed by distribution of sweets and prasad (holy offerings).
- The Lohri festival is observed the night before Makar Sankranti or Maghi.
- The main winter crop of Punjab - wheat, which is sown in October is seen at the prime form of January across the fields of Punjab. The crop is then later harvested in March.
- On Lohri, prayers are offered to Earth, Sun God, the fire and the fields for prosperity, health, and good harvest.