In India, where agriculture is the main occupation, the harvest season is considered to be a very significant time of the year. This season is marked by several festivals from different cultures across the country. Makar Sankranti is celebrated in Maharashtra, Gujarat and a few places in Northern India, Pongal is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Bihu is celebrated in Assam and Lohri is celebrated in Punjab.
Lohri is a festival of gratitude and appreciation for the bountiful harvest that has been bestowed upon us and of positivity and prosperity for the future. Lohri is a truly vibrant festival with a blazing bonfire, the rhythmic beats of the dhol, lively folk songs and dance and most importantly, scrumptious Punjabi food,
Let us get to know more about this vibrant harvest festival:
- Origins of the Festival
The word Lohri is derived from the word ‘Tilohri’, a combination of the words ‘til’ (sesame seeds) and ‘rorhi’ (jaggery), two winter foods that hold great significance in Lohri celebrations. This festival marks the end of winters and the beginning of spring. It is linked to the phenomenon known as Winter Solstice, marking the longest night and shortest day. Farmers are especially delighted on Lohri day as it brings in the harvest season for them.
- Significance of the Sacred Fire
The sacred fire of Lohri is lit to pay homage to the Lord Agni, the God of Fire. Offerings of til (black sesame seeds), gur (jaggery), gajak, popcorn and peanuts are made to the sacred Lohri fire while seeking blessings of happiness and prosperity from Lord Agni. This day is especially auspicious for new brides and legend has it that the sacred fire grants them all their wishes. The fire is also a symbol of positivity for the future while leaving any negativity behind.
- Lohri Traditions
Lohri traditions are vibrant and fun. As part of the rituals, people walk around the Lohri fire to seek blessings and manifest positivity for the future. People make delicious winter dishes and elaborate feasts are held for family and friends. Gifts of gajak, gur, dried fruits and sweets are exchanged between family and friends. There is a lot of dancing, music, fun and frolic as everyone welcomes the new year.
- Goodbye Winter, Welcome Spring
Lohri marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. As the winter comes to an end, people rejoice with authentic Punjabi winter foods. They welcome the beautiful spring season with song, dance and merriment. They worship Lord Agni and ask for a blessed and prosperous year ahead.
- The Goodness of Winter Foods
Black sesame seeds and jaggery are the staples of most harvest festivals in India. They bring warmth to the body and clear it out of any toxins to prepare it for the new year. Til and gur have great health benefits such as improved heart condition, improved digestion and better immunity. This great combination also promotes great skin, luscious hair and stronger bones. Various delicacies such as til ki chikki, gur ki roti, panjiri, pinni, til ke ladoo and more are made on the occasion of Lohri.
- Lohri Staples
The first thing that comes to mind when one hears Lohri is Sarson ka saag and Makki ki roti. This delicious duo is prepared especially as part of the Lohri feast. Other delicacies include hot and spicy Pindi Chole with ghee-covered Gur ki roti and sweets like crunchy Murmura ke ladoo, Til ki barfi and mouth-watering Gur ka halwa topped with dried fruits and kesar.
These absolutely delicious Punjabi dishes made in pure desi ghee make for a wholesome Lohri feast.
Dwaraka Organics has the freshest ingredients that you can use for your Lohri delicacies:
- You can make the famous til ki chikki, til ke ladoo and til ki barfi using these organically grown Sesame seeds.
- Make some hot and spicy Pindi Chole using our organic, highly-nutritional Garbanzo beans and other Indian spices.
- Cool a special Lohri feast using various organic spices, daals, and flours
This Lohri, celebrate the magic of new beginnings, manifest positivity around the sacred fire and indulge in delicious winter foods with family and friends. Wishing you and your family a very happy and prosperous Lohri!