The Festival of Lohri

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by Harshita S.
Lohri is a traditional festival of the punjabi's.. It is an agricultural festival celebrated in the Northern part of India.It is associated with the harvest of the winter crops.People wear the best of clothes and perform the traditional folk dances of Punjab (bhangra and gidda). A bornfire is lit and people throw peanuts, popcorn, butter etc. in it to worship god for a good harvest.This festival is celebrated with a lot of fun and frolic as it also marks the end of winter..!! It is a prestigious day for people living in the states of PUNJAB. HIMACHAL PRADESH, UTTARAKHAND, DELHI & JAMMU as this festival is celebrated for the harvest of winter season crops (or the rabi crops). Farmers see this day as the FINANCIAL NEW YEAR.

It is said that lohri comes from the word LOH meaning WARMNESS of fire. On this day people wear bright clothes the BHANGRA & GIDDA to the beat of the dhol. Then the people enjoy the bonfire by throwing peanuts. jaggery (gur), popcorns, rewri, til, etc. into it. Also the first harvest is given to the GOD along with the pray for a good harvest.

Also, it is "makar sakranti"which is one of the most auspicious occasions for the Hindus who celebrate it with with great devotion and gaiety. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti is perhaps the only Indian festival whose date always falls on the same day (mostly)!
Makar means Capricorn and Sankranti is transition. There is a sankranti every month when the sun passes from one sign of the zodiac to the next.

Makar Sankranti is the day when the Sun God begins its entry into the Northern Hemisphere .To Hindus, the Sun stands for knowledge, spiritual light and wisdom. The people are reminded of 'Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya' which means may you go higher & higher, gain more knowledge and leave behind darkness or ignorance. We should gradually begin to grow in wisdom, and knowledge, as the Sun does from the Day of Makar Sankranti !!!

Sankranti is celebrated all over South Asia with some regional variations. It is known by different names and celebrated with different customs in different parts of the country.

So lets enjoy this eve and gain blessings from the Sun God!

by Nikita S., Harshita S., Sanjana C. St Mark's Senior Secondary School, Meera Bagh, New Delhi, India