The first festival of the year, Lohri has its roots in folklore of the Jammu region. Falling on January 13 this year, Lohri marks the fading of winter season and commencement of summer. It is one of the festivals celebrated with gaiety by Jammuites. Here is all you need to know about it:
SCIENCE BEHIND THE CELEBRATION OF LOHRI FESTIVAL
It is believed that the earth leans towards the sun along the Tropic of Capricorn (Makara Rekha) from the day following Lohri, also known as Winter Solstice. At this time, earth is farthest from the sun at this point of time, starts its journey towards the sun along its elliptical orbit, thus heralding in the onset of spring.
On the day of Lohri, the sun changes its course which marks the end of winter season.
LEGEND ASSOCIATED WITH LOHRI FESTIVAL
Every region in India has its own legend associated with the Lohri festival but the legend which is most popular in the states of Punjab and Jammu is summarised in a very famous tradional song “Sunder Munderiye”of Lohri. The song is
सुंदर मुंदरिये, हो
तेरा कौन विचारा हो
दुल्ला भट्टी वाला, हो
दुल्ले धी ब्याही, हो
सेर शक्कर आई, हो
कुड़ी दे बोझे पाई, हो
कुड़ी दा लाल पटाका, हो
कुड़ी दा सालू पाटा, हो
सालू कौन समेटे, हो
चाचा गाली देसे, हो
चाचे चूरी कुट्टी, हो
जिमींदारां लुट्टी, हो
जिमींदार सदाये, हो
गिन-गिन पौले लाये, हो
इक पोला रेह गया हो
सिपाही फड़के ले गया हो
सिपाही ने मारी ईट हो
पावें रो पावें पिट हो
सानु दे दे लोहड़ी , ते तेरी जोड़ी जीवे…!
This is sung as a tribute to a hero of Punjab named Dulla Batti who besides robbing the rich, rescued poor Punjabi girls being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East from the Sandal Bar (a region bordering Jammu between the rivers Chenab and Ravi in Pakistani Punjab). He arranged their marriages to boys and provided them with dowries. Among them were two girls Sundri & Mundri have gradually become theme of Lohri folk song.
The age old popular practice of celebrating Lohri involves group of young men from each mohalla carrying Chhajja (a designed replica of peacock), dancing and singing songs of Lohri and visiting homes especially those who have had a wedding or the birth of baby boy asking for offerings in cash and sweets called LOHRI. But over the past few decades, this tradition has lost its sheen. Now, you can see hardly few kids visiting home to home asking for Lohri.
Later, in the night there is an organisation of puja at homes involving parikrama of Bonfire and distribution of prasad comprising of five main items: til (sesame seed), gajak (a hardened bar of peanuts in jaggery or sugar syrup), gur (jaggery), moongphali (peanuts) and popcorn.
The “Chajjas” used to be the part of rich dogra culture’s history. But these day, one hardly find groups of children carrying small triangular Chajjas singing Lohri songs and collecting offerings from people.
The celebration at large has now been reduced to just sending “Happy Lohri” messages on phones.
The festival automatically attain higher importance when a happy event happened in the family in the elapsed year like the birth of a male child or marriage. The first Lohri of a bride or a newborn baby is considered extremely auspicious.
KUDIYEIN DI LOHRI
The trend of celebrating first Lohri of newly born girl child is now growing in the state which shows the change of social mindset in giving equal importance to the female child.