Good afternoon everyone! I hope that you are all doing well! Today I wanted to share with you the origin of a Punjabi holiday that took place this weekend. I will admit that even though I was born and raised in a traditional Indian household and have grown up practicing the traditions and festivals, there is still so much that I learn every day. There is much that I don’t know. When I found out that Lohri was on Saturday the 14th, I decided to do some research to learn about the origin of this festival and share it with all of you!
Lohri marks the New Year for Punjabi farmers. On this day, the farmers show gratitude for their crops before the harvesting begins and pray to Lord Agni (the Lord of Fire) to bless their land with abundance. They chant while moving around a bonfire fire, praying for honor to come and to eliminate poverty. It is also believed that if one walks around the fire on Lohri, it helps in bringing prosperity. In Punjab, this festival holds special value for new brides. Many devotees believe that their prayers and concerns will immediately be answers and granted and that they will receive prosperity, good fortune, and a healthy life. Lohri marks the end of winter, and is a traditional welcome of longer days and the sun’s journey to the northern hemisphere.
Lohri is celebrated by lighting bonfires, eating festive food, dancing and collecting gifts. There are special desserts that are made during the time of Lohri out of the crops that farmers are able to harvest this season. People eat corn, sugarcane (also called gurh and gajak), and nuts. It is traditional to eat Gajak (sugarcane), Sarson da saag (spinach curry) with Makki di roti (corn tortillas), radish, ground nuts and jaggery. It is also traditional to eat “til rice” which is made by mixing jaggery, sesame seeds and puffed rice. As is the custom of all Indian festivals, people just come together, laugh, eat good food, dance to great music, and enjoy time with friends and family.
If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out! Also, please let me know if there is anything that you all would like to see from me this year. If any questions or thoughts arise, please comment or reach out to me via my socials!
Until next week,
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