The festival of Lohri is considered the major festival of Punjabis. This Lohri festival is celebrated in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal with grandeur and gaiety. This festival is celebrated every year a day before Makar Sankranti. In the year 2020 Lohri will be celebrated on Monday 13 January.
Like other festivals, this festival is celebrated by people in India with lots of joy and excitement. It is a festival that brings all the family members, relatives and friends together in one place. On this day people meet and enjoy each other with sweets. It is the most famous harvesting festival that holds great importance for farmers. People burn Lohri (bonfire) on this day, then sing songs and dance around it. They put some revdi, toffee, sesame seeds, popcorn, and other good things in the fire while singing and dancing around the fire.
The children sing Lohri songs some days before Lohri and at the same time start gathering wood sticks, nuts, revdis, and peanuts for Lohri. Dulla Bhatti is the focus of all Lohri songs.
On this day, everyone wears beautiful and colorful clothes and performs Bhangra and Gidda on the beat of the Dhol (a musical instrument). Those who are newly married or have children in the house are specially greeted. The newborn is celebrated in a very spectacular way. Everyone welcomes a new child into the family by giving essential things to the child as a gift.
Wheat is the main winter crop that is sown in October, while it is harvested in late March and early April. Before harvesting and collecting and bringing it home, the farmers celebrate this Lohri festival. According to Hindu calendar it falls in the middle of January when the sun is away from the earth. The festival of Lohri is a sign of the ending of winter and the start of spring. During the festival, people take a bath in the holy river Ganges to get rid of their sins.
The festival of Lohri is associated with the story of Dulla Bhatti. Dulla Bhatti lived in Punjab during the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was awarded the title of Nayak (Hero) of Punjab. At that time, the girls were forcefully sold to the rich people for slavery at the place of Sandal Bar, which Dulla Bhatti did not only free the girls but also got them married to Hindu boys and done all the arrangements of their marriage.