Lohri marks the end of winter and it is believed that Lohri night is the coolest night of the winters and the longest night of the year.
It is belived that the origin of Lohri started because of the “Tale of Dulla Bhatti”, a bandit in Punjab during Akbar times. He is also called the Robinhood of Punjab. He once rescued Hindu girls who were being forcibly taken to be sold as slaves in the market of Middle East. Not only this, even arranged their marriages to Hindu boys. Dulla Bhatti is the central character in most Lohri songs as a gesture to express gratitude towards him.
Lohri is also celebrated as the harvest festivals. As traditionally January is the time period to harvest sugarcane crops. And sugarcane products such as jaggery and gachak are essential to Lohri celebrations.
People gather around the bonfire, throw puffed rice and popcorn into the fire, chanting “aadar aye dilather jaye” with great belief meaning “may honor come and poverty vanish”.
Lohri is also to thank the Sun God and seek the continued protection and blessings for the coming year.
Legend says that Holika and Lohri were sisters. Holika perished in the Holi fire and Lohri survived with Prahlad. The word Lohri is also believed to have an origin from the word regional word ‘loh’ which means warmth and light of fire. Some believe that the festival got its title from the wife of Sant Kabir, who was called Loi.