WISH YOU ALL HAPPY RETURNS OF LOHRI AND MAKKAR SAKRANTI ON 13TH & 14TH JANUARY, RESPECTIVELY
LOHRI & MAKAR SAKARANTI
Every festival is linked with some seasons
Or certain well known occasions.
Lohri a winter festivals of repute
Falls in the month of ( 13th Jan) Paush
Marks the end of winter season
And beginning of longer – a little hotter days ahead soon
For farmers it is one of the happiest occasions
They start harvesting rabi crops
Start of spring season is a Natural bounty
Adds additional spice to festivities.
(Rabi Crop: Wheat, Gram, Pea, Mustard, Linseed, Barley, Peas)
Traditionally on lohri day a bonfire is lit
People congregate around it
And reverently offer, jiggery (gur), sesame seeds (til)
Sesame coated sugar candy and popcorn into leaping bonfire
The skyward leaping fire
Too shows that it is enjoying all acts of hers
Gathering partakes the sacred offering themselves too as (parsad) offering
Satiety writ large in everybody’s face.
Offerings too is made to ‘panj tatavas’ five elements
Fire, wind, water, ether and earth
Going around the bonfire with great reverence
And singing traditional songs with dance makes much difference.
And that too in tune with beating of drums!
Folklore abound about the origin of Lohori
Legend has it that King Hirnakashap,
An evil and conceited one at that
Wanted his subjects to worship him and not the Holy Being
Had two daughters and one son
Daughters Holika, Lohri and son Pralhada
Pralhada worshiped Lord Naraina
Which angers him to no ends.
Holika had earned a strange boon
Of not being destroyed by the bonfire
Evil king put the three in the blazing fire
The ferocious fire had Holika swallowed
While Prablad and Lohri came out of it untouched
That is the glory of our Lord.
Some devout make an image of Lohri – the Goddess
Of cow-dung and sing her praises
Tradition has it that there was a very brave person of repute
Named Dulla Bhatti from lineage of warrior race the Rajputs
In the reign of Mughal king Akbar
He used to rescue poor girls from the clutches of robbers
And got them married to suitable boys
People sing Lohri songs with gust
And shower utmost whilst praising his bravery.
Thence other legend of the origin of Lohri
From the wife of Saint Kabir named ‘Loi’
Herself a lady so pious.
It is also believed that Holi originated from the word ‘lo’
Meaning light – Holi fire so holy.
Lohri too is linked with Makar Sanranti
Which too is another winter festival very famous
Celebrated one day after Lohri celebrations
A day so fixed
14th January – indeed very sacred
It marks the beginning of solar maagha masa
Makar Sankranti is start of harvest festival
And beginning of pleasant Spring Season
Celebrated in all parts of country.
It has its origin to the movement of the earth
Sun movement begins from (Sankranti) one zodiac sign
Into another – Capricorn zodiac (Makar) sign
Two movements are termed as Makar Sakranti.
This day marks the beginning of warmer days
As the sacred months start from this day onwards
Makar Sankranti is celebrated with great fervor
In western and northern India
There is a mention of this day in Mahabharata
As, it is the festival of Sun God
Who gives us light and heat
To living beings without bias
And bestows us divinity and wisdom,
Thus holding an eternal meaning.