Happy Lohri (Punjabi: ਲੋਹੜੀ (Gurmukhi), लोहड़ी (Devanagari), لوہڑی (Shahmukhi) to all my friends and followers around the world.
Full Article at http://phototube.co/profiles/blogs/happy-lohri-to-all-indian-s-frie...
Famous Lohri song History & Info
Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chacha gali dese!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Bum Bum bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari itt!
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey pitt!
Sanoo de de Lohri, te teri jeeve jodi!
(Cry or howl!)
Who will think about you
Dulla of the Bhatti clan will
Dulla's daughter got married
He gave one ser of sugar!
The girl is wearing a red suit!
But her shawl is torn!
Who will stitch her shawl?!
The uncle made choori!
The landlords looted it!
Landlords are beaten up!
Lots of simple-headed boys came!
One simpleton got left behind!
The soldier arrested him!
The soldier hit him with a brick!
(Cry or howl)!
Give us Lohri, long live your pair (to a married couple)!
Whether you cry, or bang your head later!
Lohri is an extremely popular festival celebrated by the Himachali , Punjabi , Garwal ,Kumaon and Jammu people in Northern India and Greater Himalayas . This agricultural winter festival is celebrated in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttrakhand and Jammu.
The origins of Lohri are many and link the festival to the Punjab. Many people believe the festival began as a celebration of the eve of the winter solstice. With time, the festival spread to the states adjoining Punjab - Sindh, Jammu, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. Other communities also participate in the festival - such as the Bengali and Oriya communities.
Lohri is the cultural celebration on the eve of the winter solstice. However, instead of celebrating Lohri on the eve of winter solstice, Punjabis celebrate it on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place, Paush as no sacred festival is celebrated in the month of Paush as per the Brahmins. This is due to linking Lohri to the Bikrami calendar. Among Sindhi's the festival is popularly known as Lal loee. On the day of Lal Loee kids bring wood sticks from their grand parents and aunties and like a fire camp burnt these sticks in the night with people enjoying, dancing and playing around fire
According to folk lore, in ancient Lohri was celebrated on the eve of winter solstice day. It is for this reason that people believe the Lohri night is meant to be the longest night of the year and on the day after Lohri, day light is meant to increase.
However, scientifically, the shortest day of the year is around December 21–22 after when the days begin to get longer. Accordingly, winter solstice begins on December 21 or December 22 and Lohri ought to be celebrated a day before winter solstice.
Punjabis, irrespective of their religion, continue to practice their Punjabi Folk Religion. Respect to the seasons and the natural elements of fire, wind, water and the earth is very important. Lohri is a festival dedicated to the end of the Winter season whereas Teej (known as Teeyan in Punjabi) is dedicated to the rain/Monsoon season and Basant is dedicated to the Spring season.
Lohri and harvest festival
Lohri is traditionally associated with the harvest of the rabi crops. People take peanuts, rewri, flour, butter and various food items to places of religious worship to thank God for a good harvest.'
Lohri and the financial new year
Punjabi farmers see the day after Lohri as the financial new year. It is a very important day.
Over time, people have associated Lohri to the tale of Dulla Bhatti. The central character of most Lohri songs is Dulla Bhatti,who lived in Punjab during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was regarded as a hero in Punjab. Besides robbing the rich, he rescued girls being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East from the Sandal Bar region. He arranged their marriages to boys of their religion with rituals and provided them with dowries. So every other Lohri song has words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.
Dulla Bhatti was a rebel whose lineage was of Bhatti Rajputs . His ancestors were the rulers of Pindi Bhattian in Sandal Bar area of present day Pakistan. He was a hero of all Punjabis and his var (life story) is available on the internet.
Other legends of the origin of Lohri
Some people believe that Lohri has derived its name from Loi, the wife of Saint Kabir.
There is a legend amongst some people that Lohri comes from the word 'loh', which means the light and the warmness of fire
Til and Reodi
Eating of til (sesame seeds) and rorhi is considered to be essential on Lohri day. Perhaps the words til and rorhi merged to become tilorhi, which eventually got shortened to Lohri.
According to the Bikrami calendar, Lohri falls in the month of Paush i.e. around 13 January, as per the Gregorian calendar. It is, actually, celebrated a day before Makara Sankranthi, as it marks the end of the winter season. The sun usually enters the Nirayana Makara rashi (Capricorn) on January 14 (99% of the time). However, there are times when the sun could enter the zodiac a day before or a day after January 14. Regardless, Lohri is still celebrated a day before Makar Sankranti. Makara sankranti marks beginning of the solar maagha masa, and Lohri must be celebrated on the last day of the solar Dhanur masa, which also marks the exit of the sun from Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius).
During the day, children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti. These children are given sweets and savories, and occasionally, money. Turning them back empty-handed is regarded inauspicious.
The collections gathered by the children are known as Lohri and consist of til, gachchak, crystal sugar, gur (jaggery), moongphali (peanuts) and phuliya or popcorn. Lohri is then distributed at night during the festival. Till, peanuts, popcorn and other food items are also thrown into the fire.
The bonfire ceremony differs depending on the location in Punjab. In some parts, a small image of the Lohri goddess is made with gobar (cattle dung) decorating it, kindling a fire beneath it and chanting its praises. In other parts, the Lohri fire consists of cow dung and wood with no reference to the Lohri goddess.
The bonfire is lit at sunset in the main village square. People toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries on the bonfire, sit around it, sing and dance till the fire dies out. Some people perform a prayer and go around the fire. This is to show respect to the natural element of fire. It is traditional to offer guests til, gachchak, gur, moongphali (peanuts) and phuliya or popcorn. Milk and water is also poured around the bonfire by Hindus. This ritual is performed for thanking the Sun God and seeking his continued protection.
Punjabi woman waiting to participate in Gidda
Lohri is celebrated to denote the last of the coldest days of winter. Apart from Punjab, people from other northern Indian states of Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu, become busy making preparations for Lohri.
In houses that have recently had a marriage or childbirth, Lohri celebrations will reach a higher pitch of excitement. Punjabis usually have private Lohri celebrations, in their houses. Lohri rituals are performed, with the accompaniment of special Lohri songs.
Singing and dancing form an intrinsic part of the celebrations. People wear their brightest clothes and come to dance the bhangra and gidda to the beat of the dhol. Punjabi songs are sung, and everybody rejoices. Sarson da saag and makki di roti is usually served as the main course at a Lohri dinner. Lohri is a great occasion that holds great importance for farmers. However, people residing in urban areas also celebrate Lohri, as this festival provides the opportunity to interact with family and friends.
Origin of Lohri
The origin of the Lohri can be traced back to the tale of Dulla Bhatti. By the end of the first week of January, small groups of boys ring the doorbell of houses and start chanting the Lohri songs related to Dulla Bhatti. In turn, the people give them popcorn, peanuts, crystal sugar, sesame seeds (til) or gur as well as money. Turning them back empty-handed is regarded inauspicious.
Lohri marks the end of winter on the last day of Paush, and beginning of Magha (around January 12 and 13), when the sun changes its course. It is associated with the worship of the sun and fire and is observed by all communities with different names, as Lohri is an exclusively Punjabi festival. The questions like When it began and why is lost in the mists of antiquity.
The origin of Lohri is related to the central character of most Lohri songs is Dulla Bhatti, a Muslim highway robber who lived in Punjab during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Besides robbing the rich, he rescued Hindu girls being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East. He arranged their marriages to Hindu boys with Hindu rituals and provided them with dowries. Understandably, though a bandit, he became a hero of all Punjabis. So every other Lohri song has words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.
Some believe that Lohri has derived its name from Loi, the wife of Sant Kabir, for in rural Punjab Lohri is pronounced as Lohi. Others believe that Lohri comes from the word 'loh', a thick iron sheet tawa used for baking chapattis for community feasts. Another legend says that Holika and Lohri were sisters. While the former perished in the Holi fire, the latter survived. Eating of til (sesame seeds) and rorhi (jaggery) is considered to be essential on this day. Perhaps the words til and rorhi merged to become tilorhi, which eventually got shortened to Lohri.
Ceremonies that go with the festival of Lohri usually comprises of making a small image of the Lohri goddess with gobar (cattle dung), decorating it, kindling a fire beneath it and chanting its praises. The final ceremony is to light a large bonfire at sunset, toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries in it, sit round it, sing, dance till the fire dies out. People take dying embers of the fire to their homes. In Punjabi village homes, fire is kept going round the clock by use of cow-dung cakes.
The History of Lohri
The history of Lohri, a seasonal festival of North India is as old as that of story of Indus Valley civilization itself. The Festival of Lohri marks the beginning of the end of winter and the coming of spring and the new year. The fires lit at night, the hand warming, the song and dance and the coming together of an otherwise atomized community, are only some of the features of this festival. The Lohri of north India coincides with Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti in Bengal, Magha Bihu in Assam, Tai Pongal in Kerala, all celebrated on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti.
There are some interesting socio-cultural and folk-legends connected with Lohri. According to the cultural history of Punjab, Bhatti, a Rajput tribe during the reign of Akbar, inhabited parts of Rajasthan, Punjab, and Gujarat (now in Pakistan). Dulla Bhatti, Raja of Pindi Bhattian, was put to death by the Mughal king for revolting against him. The tribal mirasis (street singers) trace the history of the tribe and interestingly, claim Maharaja Ranjit Singh as one of its scions.
Dulla Bhatti, like Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor. The people of the area loved and respected him. He once rescued a girl from kidnappers and adopted her as his daughter. His people would remember their hero every year on Lohri. Groups of children moved from door to door, singing the Dulla Bhatti folk-song: "Dulla Bhatti ho! Dulle ne dhi viyahi ho! Ser shakar pai ho!" (Dulla gave his daughter a kilo of sugar as a marriage gift).
Lohri is essentially a festival dedicated to fire and the sun god. It is the time when the sun transits the zodiac sign Makar (Capricorn), and moves towards the north. In astrological terms, this is referred to as the sun becoming Uttarayan. The new configuration lessens the ferocity of winter, and brings warmth to earth. It is to ward off the bitter chill of the month of January that people light bonfires, dance around it in a mood of bonhomie and celebrate Lohri.
Fire is associated with concepts of life and health. Fire, like water, is a symbol of transformation and regeneration. It is the representative of the sun, and is thus related, on the one hand with rays of light, and on the other with gold. It is capable of stimulating the growth of cornfields and the well being of man and animals. It is the imitative magic purporting to assure the supply of light and heat. It is also an image of energy and spiritual strength. That is why the Lohri fire gets sanctified and is venerated like a deity. On this occasion, people offer peanuts, popcorn and sweets made of til- chirva, gajak and revri – to propitiate fire as a symbol of the sun god.
The Legends of Lohri
There are few renowned legends associated with this historic festival of Punjab, the most significant of them being the Dullah Bhatti, which evolved around the Festival of Lohri. Lohri marks the end of the dreary and awfully cold month of Pos (mid Dec to mid Jan) and the next day of Makar Sakranti, ushers in the bright and sunny month of Magh. This is particularly a happy occasion for the couples who for the first time celebrated Lohri after their marriage and also the first Lohri of the son born in a family.
The Legend of Sun God
Few days before Lohri, a bevy of village maidens assemble and visit the households to ask cow-dung cake. The girls gather round the house and chant: We've come, all the girls of the village! We've come to your courtyard! And so they go from house to house collecting cow-dung cakes till they have a veritable pile. They deposit all of them in one house and return to their homes. Their is a valid reason for girls to perform this ritual.
Lohri is celebrated on the last day of the month of Pans to mark the end of winter. It is said that the forefathers formulated a sacred mantra which protected them from the cold. This mantra invoked the Sun God to send them so much heat that the winter cold would not affect them. And, in thanks-giving to the Sun God, they chanted this mantra round a fire on the last day of Pans. The Lohri fire is symbolic of the homage to the sun. A song is sung on this occasion:
"Where have the shawls and braziers gone?
To the golden mountain Where's the golden mountain gone?
To the sun's ray Where has the sun's ray gone?
To the sun Where's the sun gone?
To the fire The fire burns, the ray warms
The snows melt, the cold days have ended."
Our ancients believed that the flames of the fires they lit took their message to the sun, and that is why on the morning after Lohri, which is the first of the new month Magh, the sun's rays suddenly turn warm and take the chill out of people’s bones.
Another version of Lohri
"There is also another version of Lohri. In olden times, human beings lit fires to keep away flesh-eating animals and protect their habitations. Everyone contributed to this communal fire, for which young boys and girls collected firewood from the jungle. That is why even today when people burn cow-dung cakes it is teenagers who go around collecting them. The Lohri bonfire is symbolic of our old method of protecting ourselves as well as a form of fire worship. It is to the Lohri fire that couples pray for more children and parents for husbands for their unmarried daughters.
The Legend of Dullah Bhatti
On the eve of Lohri the most popular songs sung by groups of boys invariably end with the exclamation 'ho':
Sundri Mundri Hei! Hoi!
Tera Kaun Bechara! Hoi!
Dullah Bhatti wala! Hoi!
Dullah Di Dhi viyahi ! Hoi !
Sher ShaKar pai! Hoi!
Kuri de Mamme aaye! Hoi!
UnaNe ChuRi Kuti! Hoi!
Jimidari Lutti! Hoi!
Ik kola GhuT Gaya!
Since Lohri is also associated with weddings, many Lohri songs are based on the old love story of Dulla Bhatti. This is the tale of a man who rescued a girl from her cruel abductors and adopted her. Finally he arranged for her marriage, as if she were his own daughter. These songs exhort the youth to protect the honor of their sisters and daughters, and punish those who try to dishonor them. Everywhere in Punjab ‘Vars’ (songs) of his heroism and valor are sung and recited.