lohri

❄ Shubhpuja Article Published in The Indian Express ❄

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Lohri 2018: Puja Vidhi, Samagri, Procedure and Timings

Lohri festivities 2018: People offer their thanksgivings and pray to the deities of sun, earth and fire for prosperity and happiness on Lohri. Read further to know more about the Lohri Puja Vidhi 2018 and auspicious puja timings of the festival.

Read More: Lohri Article Published in The Indian Express

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Shubhpuja Article Published in The Indian Express

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Lohri 2018: History, Importance and Why it is Celebrated

Lohri is one of the most commonly celebrated festivals in India and it is a way to spread the joy of seeing the sparkling pearls of Rabi crops amidst traditional folk songs, dance and food.

Read More: Shubhpuja Article Published in The Indian Express

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❄️ Celebrating Lohri ❄️

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LOHRI

Lohri is one of most popular and revered festivals of Punjab celebrated in India with great fervour. In its origins, Lohri is an ancient mid winter Hindu festival, in regions near the Himalayan mountain where winter is colder than the rest of the subcontinent. The festival marks the end of sowing season and the beginning of the farming season, which is why it is also  known as the ‘harvest festival,’ the festivities being a way to solemnize harvesting of the Rabi crops through folk songs, dances and delectable food. The festival also celebrates the ancient tradition of lighting of a holy fire that signifies the fire god or Agni. Devotees circle around the bonfire and sing in praise of Surya.

The festival is primarily celebrated in the north of India, especially Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Initially, Lohri was celebrated on the shortest day and longest night of the year but over time the celebration was shifted to the end of the chilly winters, commemorating the passing of the winter solstice.

However  according to folklore Lohrihas to do with the tale of Dulla Bhatti (whose real name was Abdullah Bhatti and lived in Punjab during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar) and was regarded as a hero in Punjab, for rescuing  girls of Punjab from being forcibly sold in slave markets of Middle East.  Two girls Sundri and Mundri,  were two of his most famous beneficiaries and gradually became a part of Punjab’ folklore. Thus duringLohri celebrations, when children go around homes singing the traditional folk songs of Lohri, the name of “Dulla Bhatti” is included.

The festival celebrations coincide with the festival of Bhogali Bihu of Assam and Pongal in Tamil Nadu.

When Is Lohri Celebrated?

According to the Indian calendar, Lohri falls in the month of Pausha. But the Gregorian calendar mentions the date as 13th of January. The festival is observed a day before Makar Sankranti, also known as Maghi that welcomes the onset of summer.  According to the solar part of the luni solar Bikrami calendar, the festival is typically celebrated on the same date every year. During the leap years, Lohri is celebrated on either 12 or 14 of January.

How Is the Festival Celebrated?

The festival of Lohri is celebrated as a community festival with family, friends, and relatives. Lohri involves a Puja Parikrama around the bonfire and distribution of Prasad. This symbolizes a prayer to Agni, the spark of life, for abundance in crops and prosperity. The first Lohri of a new born child and a newly wed bride is considered very auspicious. People gather around bonfires that are lit in front of homes or in harvested fields and toss corn, sesame seeds, rice and jaggery into the bonfires as offering to Agni.  People also sing and dance to traditional folk songs in praise of Surya, symbolized by the bonfire.

When Children recite songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti  as stated above,  they cajole elders for money. People worship the bonfire lit in front of homes and fields, praying for abundant crops by saying ‘Adar aayedilatherjaaye’. Many people wish for prosperity as they Offer food to fire. Bhangra and gidda are performed on the occasion.

What Is the Traditional Feast of Lohri?

The traditional feast on the festival includes peanuts, ladoos, phulle, gajak, and jaggery. The food items are fed into the bonfire for auspicious reasons. According to legends, praying to Agni brings peace, prosperity and positivity to people’s lives and marks the end of evil. The traditional dinner served after the prayers, includes Punjabi delectables like Sarson ka Saag and Maaaki Da Roti.

❄️ Happy Lohri ❄️

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Facts of Makar Sakranti

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Makar Sakranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn on its celestial path. The festival is widely celebrated by flying kites and relishing the Tilguls. This fun filled festival is lot more than kites and Til chikkis, which can further be explored.

  • Makar sakranti is one of the festivals that are celebrated on the same day every year. Though once in every eight years, the date is postponed due to revolution and solar changes. This year it falls on 15th January.
  • The word ‘Sankranti’ signifies the movement of the sun from one zodiac sign to another. Thus, the name of the festival literally means the movement of the sun into Capricorn or Makar.
  • Makar Sankranti is referred as the ‘holy phase of transition’. It marks the end of an inauspicious phase which according to the Hindu calendar begins around mid-December.
  • Sankranti marks the termination ofwinter season and beginning of a new harvest or spring season. Thus beginning of warmer days and shorter nights.
  • The harvest festival of India is called by different names throughout India. Like Makar Sankranti in West India, down south, the festival is known as Pongal and in the north, it is celebrated as Lohri.
  • The sesame and jiggery ladoos are distributed among family and friends as it is considered beneficial in this transition season. It also represents a way of bonding and hoping for good health.
  • The tradition of kite flying began so that the physical body was exposed to the early morning sun rays. Being a critical time for flue and sickness, the warming sunrays proved to be beneficial. Thus kite flying became a fun way to do so.
  • It also marks the beginning of the Kumbh Mela in Uttar Pradesh while in South India, in Kerala, one of the most austere and difficult pilgrimages of Shabrimala ends on this auspicious day.
  • People also celebrate by taking a dip in the holy rivers flowing through states to cleanse themselves of sins. It is also believed that if you die during Makar Sankranti, you are not reborn and attain salvation.
  • It is the festival of Sun God and He is regarded as the symbol divinity and wisdom, the festival also holds an eternal meaning to it. The importance of this day has been signified in the ancient epics like Mahabharata also.

 

The harvest festival of Lohri

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Sweetness of rewari, fragrance of popcorn, illumination of bon fire and musical traditions; the pompous Lohri is here. The festival of happiness and joy holds immense traditional and cultural values. It is widely celebrated among parts of North India on 13th January every year. On the eve of this festival people gather around a bon fire and celebrate while dancing and singing traditional songs. Some of the unknown facts about this beautiful festival are as follows:

  • People believe that this festival is named after wife of Sant Kabir, Loi. Whereas another tale suggests that Holika and Lohri were sisters.
  • The festival is dedicated to Sun God as it is the transition phase from winters to the warmth of springs.
  • This festival marks the beginning of the harvest season and is a way to adore God for successful harvest in the new season.
  • The festival of Lohri is often related to the legend of Dulla Bhatti who was a heroic character during the Mughal Empire. Lohri is celebrated in honor of Dulla Bhatti with folk songs describing his brave saga.
  • The new bride is like a blessing to the family, similar to this festival of success and prosperity. Therefore newlywed couple celebrate this festival with all their family and friends.
  • People light a large bonfire at sunset, toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries in it, sit round it, sing, and dance till the fire dies out.