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Lohri 2018: Bonfires lit, rapturous celebrations held across country

By Vikas
|

The auspicious festival of Lohri was celebrated across the country, especially in Punjab and northern India, with pomp and fervour on Saturday evening. Lighting a bonfire and throwing in peanuts, popcorn, jaggery and other things in it while walking around it is the traditional way of celebrating Lohri.

People also beat dhols and sing folk songs with family and friends while dancing around the fire. Lohri marks the end of winter and the onset of spring. Lohri is also believed to be the longest night of the year according to the Lunar calendar.

According to folklore, in ancient times Lohri was celebrated at the end of the traditional month when winter solstice occurs. It celebrates the days getting longer as the sun proceeds on its northward journey. The day after Lohri is celebrated as Maghi Sangrand.

Lohri bonfire

Lohri bonfire

During the day, children go from door to door singing folk songs. These children are given sweets and savories, and occasionally, money. Turning them back empty-handed is regarded inauspicious. Where families are welcoming newly-weds and new borns, the requests for treats increases.

BSF jawans celebrating Lohri in Poonch

BSF jawans celebrating Lohri in Poonch

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. For some, throwing food into the fire represents the burning of the old year and start the next year on Makar Sankranti.

Lohri celebrations in Amritsar

Lohri celebrations in Amritsar

Singing and dancing form an intrinsic part of the celebrations. People wear their brightest clothes and come to dance the bhangra and giddato 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 celebrations in Chandigarh

Lohri celebrations in Chandigarh

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.

(Images credit - ANI/Twitter)

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