Lohri

Lohri is a popular Punjabi festival,celebrated by people from the Punjab region of South Asia.The origins of Lohri are many and link the festival to Punjab region.Many people believe the festival commemorates the passing of the winter solstice as Lohri was originally celebrated on winter solstice day,being the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

There are many origins of Lohri: all forming part of folklore. However, the main theme of Lohri is the belief that Lohri is the cultural celebration of the winter solstice.Lohri is meant to be celebrated on the shortest day of the year.

According to folk lore, in ancient times Lohri was celebrated on winter solstice day.It is for this reason that people believe the Lohri night is meant to be the longest night of the year and on the day after Lohri, day light is meant to increase. Accordingly, the day after Lohri is celebrated as Maghi Sangrand when the days are meant to start getting longer.People believe nights gradually shorten “by the grain of one sesame seed” once the winter solstice passes.

However, instead of celebrating Lohri on the day winter solstice occurs,Punjabis celebrate it on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place. This is due to linking Lohri to the Bikrami calendar and the twinning of the festival with Makar Sankranti which is celebrated in the Punjab region as Maghi Sangrand.Therefore, Lohri commemorates the passing of the winter solstice.

Scientifically, the shortest day of the year is around 21–22 December after which the days begin to get longer. Accordingly, winter solstice begins on 21 December or 22 December and Lohri ought to be celebrated on the day of winter solstice followed by Maghi (Makar) Sangrand the next day.

It is traditional to eat Gajak, Sarson da saag with Makki di roti, radish, ground nuts and jaggery.It is also traditional to eat “til rice” which is made by mixing jaggery, sesame seeds and rice.