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.
Indian weddings are all about a festive celebration among two families, that unites them together in the auspicious bond of love. Traditional values and cultures are most highlighted during the ceremonies beginning from engagement to the wedding day. Yet the big fat wedding doesn’t end here till the newly-wed couple arrives at the door of the house, thinking it to be the completion of all the customs but to their surprise so much more is waiting for them.
Indians must have experienced or watched the post wedding customs in all the drama series and movies on television, in which the bride and groom are warmly welcomed by the groom’s family at the door step. Here we’ll discuss further about their relevance.
The Dwar Roka ceremony is performed in which the couple is not allowed to enter the house, until the groom gives some expensive gift or cash to her sister and other cousins. The sister-in-law demands a gift from her brother as it is a symbol of the beginning of new relationships and ties a hot and sweet bond between the bride and her sister-in-law.
Then the mother-in-law welcomes the couple with the traditional ‘Aarti’ and the bride enters with her right foot and kicks a vessel filled with rice and coins. The Griha pravesh ceremony is a house warming ceremony to fill up the space with kindness, tolerance, patience, generosity, humility and selfless love. By kicking the vessel at the doorstep, it symbolise the beginning of new era for the family and it denotes the arrival of happiness and wealth in her marital home. Bride being the symbol of Goddess Lakshmi, is the sign of wealth and prosperity, thus it signifies the arrival of wealth and prosperity. The reference of ‘Kalash’ has also been made in the Rigveda considering it a symbol of prosperity. It is a literal cosmos transceiver.
These ceremonies neutralises the evil aura, inside and outside the house, removing all the negative energies and bringing a new ray of positivity along with the new bride.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja
Relationships are a precious gift that makes you feel special and loved in this world. The feeling of ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ is realized when the bonds of selfless love are nurtured and provides a reason to survive in this world. To cherish the connecting bond with our soul and the supreme Universe, become a part of the Indian traditional festivals. Here are few highlighting facts about Bhai-dooj.
- Bhai Dooj is referred by various names depending upon the states. Like Bhai Phota in Bengal, Bhai Tika in Nepal, Ningol Chakuba in Manipur, Yama Dwiteya in Orissa and Bhau beej in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Goa.
- Bhai means ‘brother’ and Dooj means ‘second day after new moon’; so it is celebrated two days after Deepawali during the Shukla Paksh of Kartik month.
- The pious festival involves the applying of vermillion on brother’s forehead by revering the beautiful bond between brothers and sisters.
- To cherish the eternal knot between siblings, they exchange gifts and feasts are organized among family members.
- On this day, Lord Yama visited Yami and she greeted her by applying a vermillion mark on his forehead and praying for his longevity and well-being.
- Subhadra welcomed Lord Krishna by applying tilak on his forehead, when he reached home after defeating devil Naraksura.
- King Nandivardhan (brother of Lord Mahavira) was soothed by his sister Sudarshana, when Lord Mahavira attained nirvana.
- This day is the cultural representation of Indian culture where men and women clad in the best ethnic and elegant attires.
- Fasts is observed by the sisters till they apply tilak on their brother’s forehead and later they enjoy the lavish treat together.
- The post Diwali celebration of the five day festival is completed on a happy note and glorifies the eternal love of siblings and families.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja