Monday, January 22, 2007
Tera kaun vichaara ....hoye
Dulla bhatti waala ....hoye
Dulle ne dhii vehaayi ....hoye
Ser shakkar paayi ....hoye
Kudi da saalu paata ....hoye
Kudi da jeeve chacha ....hoye
Kudi de maame aaye ....hoye
Gin gin paule laaye ....hoye
Ikk paula khus geya ....hoye
Te zimiindaar russ geya ....hoye
Aayiin aayiin chachi ....hoye
Tera putt chadhu ga haathi ....hoye
Haathi de kann vich jaun ....hoye
Ni tere putt hon ge nau ....hoye
Nau(h)aan di kamaayi ....hoye
Ni tere dar dar chadh di aayi....hoye
Lohri marks the culmination of winter, and is celebrated on the 13th day of January in the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti. For Punjabis, this is more than just a festival, it is also an example of a way of life. Lohri celebrates fertility and the spark of life. People gather round the bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing popular songs and exchange greetings.In the North Makar Sankranti is called Lohri. Lohri is the time after which the biting cold of the winters begins to taper off.
An extremely auspicious day, Lohri marks the sun's entry in to the 'Makar Rashi' (northern hemisphere). The period, beginning from 14 January lasting till 14 July, is known as Uttarayan. It is also the last day of the month of Maargazhi, the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The Bhagawad Gita deems it an extremely sacred and auspicious time, when Lord Krishna manifests himself most tangibly. And so, across India, people celebrate the month and the prodigious harvest it brings - Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Bihu in Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh and the Sankranti in Karnataka, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The prasad comprises of five main things: til, gazak, gur, moongphali, phuliya and popcorn. There is puja, involving parikrama around the fire and distribution of prasad. This symbolises a prayer to Agni, the spark of life, for abundant crops and prosperity.
Sarson ka saag and makki ki roti is usually served as the main course at a Lohri dinner. In the villages of Punjab, Lohri is an occasion where the entire village gets together and participates in the celebrations like one big happy family. The bonfire is lit in the main village square, and after a fair amount of song and dance, everyone eats a rich and fulfilling community dinner. During this time, the farmers are undergoing a period of rest because wheat, which is the main crop in Punjab, is sown in October and harvested in March or April. In January, the fresh crop has just started growing, and the farmers are ecstatic.