Lohri, an Indian festival which falls on 13th January, is a very popular winter festival of north India. Lohri basically marks the end of winter season. There are lot of folk tales associated with the festival but the most famous is “Dulha Bhatti” song.
During the day, children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a thief in folklore who helps the poor and fights for their rights. These children are given sweets and savories, and occasionally, money. These collections are known as Lohri, and they are distributed at night during the festival. Some may be offered to the sacred fire. Peanuts, popcorn and other food items are also thrown into the fire as an offering to the God of Fire, Agni.
This year’s Lohri is making me nostalgic. I remember when I was with my family in India, we used to have so much of fun. There would be lohri celebrations, many a times we had to attend 3 parties in just one evening. Lots of popcorn, peanuts and sweets would be distributed among guests after offering them as Prasad to the sacred fire.
We used to dance around the holy fire and sing lots of songs. I still remember how I used to enjoy the warmth of the fire in pitch cold weather. What a relief it used to be. Before leaving for the party I used to cover myself with sweaters, jackets and what not but by the end of the eve only woolen that stayed on me was a Shawl, all thanks to dancing and fire. 🙂
I miss my family so much when any Indian Festival comes and goes. We do try and celebrate all the festivals here in USA as well but the real essence of the festival is always missing. One of the many reasons behind this is missing family members.
May be one day we will pack our bags and go back, to be with our family. 😦