Punjabis and Sindhis in Jaipur gear up for Lohri
Dr. Lalit kishore
Punjabis living in Raja Park and Malaviya Nagar areas in Jaipur led by the Punjabi Sabha have already started preparing for Lohri celebration, which will take place on January 13. Community bonfires with singing and dancing to the drum beats have been planned. Efforts are on to rope in some prominent political leaders to light bonfires in various Punjabi-dominated localities.
Lohari in Jaipur, has now become a trend to bring Punjabis together and keep the tradition of collective bonfire, dancing and singing with their family members and friends alive. Also, peanuts, rewaris and popcorns are distributed among children. ?Sarson da sag and makki di roti? is usually served as the main course at a Lohri dinner among the community on this day. Sindhis living in Adarsh Nagar will also be celebrating the festival as Lal Loee where children will collect wood sticks from their grandparents and aunties to lit a fire in the night with people enjoying, dancing and playing around the fire.
The festival signifies the return of longer days, as it is celebrated on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place. Lohri falls in the month of Paush and this year, it is to be celebrated on January 13.
Being a cultural festival, Punjabis, irrespective of their religion, celebrate Lohri festival dedicated to the decline of the winter season, harvesting rabi crops and begining of new financial year of farmers in Punjab. On the occasion of Lohri, people take peanuts, gur, roasted grains, rewaris and butter. Eating of sesame seeds is considered to be essential on Lohri day.
Lohri is associated with Punjabi Robinhood, Dulla Bhatti, and is mentioned in many Lohri songs. In many small towns and villages of Punjab, children go from door to door singing folk songs and Della Bhatt song. Children are given sweets, firewood, savories, and coins. In other words, children receive Lohri and turning them away empty-handed is regarded inauspicious.
There are both personal and community bonfires, lit at sunset tossing with sesame seeds, gur, candy and rewaris on the bonfire. People sit around it, pray, sing and dance till the fire die out. A thanking prayer is offered to the Sun God to seek his blessings. Many Punjabis wear bright clothes and dance the bhangra and gidda to the beat of the drum.