Friday, January 6, 2012

Legends of Lohri

The most famous legend connected to the celebration of Lohri is of Dulla Bhatti. Lohri announces the ushering of the warm and sunny days of the month of Magh and thus respite from the cold North Indian winters. People worship the Sun and Fiire God asking for heat and protection from nature’s vagaries. Lohri falls on the last day of the month of Paush. The festival of Lohri is looked upon as extremely important for the newly-wed couples and the new born baby of the family. It is believd to be very auspicious for them and they become an integral part of the family’s traditional celebrations and feasts including the Punjabi delicacies of sarson da saag, make ki roti and rau di kheer. People pray and thank God for the health and happiness of the new comers of the family. They seek constant protection and divine blessings.

Some other legends associated with Lohri celebration are as follows:

Legend of Loi

In the villages Lohri is pronounced as Lohi and said to have derived its name from Loi, who was the wife of Saint Kabir.

Legend of Loh

Some people also believe that the term Lohri is derived from the the worh Loh, which is nothing but a thick iron sheet tawa or frying pan for making rotis or chapattis (Indian bread).

Legend of Holika, Lohri and Prahlad

Another popular legend says Holika and Lohri were two sisters and while Holika perished in the Holi fire, Lohri survived with Prahlad and thus emerged the celebration of Lohri with a bonfire.

Legend associated with Til and rori

Consuming til or sesame seeds and rori or jiggery is considered ritualistic on the Lohri day. Some believe that the words til and rori were combined to form the word tilorhi and thereafter from this word evolved the shortened version of the word Lohri.

Legend of Dullah Bhatti

Dulla Bhatti is a symbolic hero of men who protect the honor of their sisters and daughters and also inflict punishment to those who try to harm or dishonor them. Lohri songs sing the glory of the heroism and valor of Dulla Bhatti. He is a legendary figure belonging to the Rajput clan who was forcibly converted to Islam and was a highway robber. But his greatness lies in his courageous feat of protecting the women who were abducted to be sold as slaves in the slave market of Middle East and also arranging for their marriages.

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