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Lohri is a popular North Indian winter folk festival celebrated primarily in the Punjab Region.

This much-awaited festival marks the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of the happy sunny days.

This festival is observed the night before Makar Sankranti which occurs on the same date every year.

 Lohri marks the arrival of longer days after the winter solstice and harvesting of the Rabi crops. Primarily Sikhs and Hindus of this region like to deck up in colorful traditional attires, sing and dance around the bonfire.

They welcome the longer days of warmer temperatures by offering different food items to the Fire God and offer prayers to destroy all negativity from their life and to bless them with new energy at the beginning of the year.

Traditionally, the word Lohri comes from ‘Tilohri i.e. ’til’ meaning sesame and ‘rorhi’ meaning Jaggery (gur).

 Later on, people started calling it Lohri.

Scientifically, all these food ingredients help to cleanse the digestive system and help to bring new energy for the New Year as well as to harvest new crops.

That is the reason behind foods like jaggery, gajak, til ki chikki are offered to the fire as an ancient way of paying gratitude to nature.

How Lohri is celebrated?:

In the present time, the concept of Lohri has changed a lot.

People simply love to dance around the bonfire to the tunes of hit chartbuster, fancy foods, etc.

 But traditionally Lohri was celebrated by lighting a huge bonfire in a common place after cutting down the rabi crops.

On this day people bring foods like til (black sesame seeds), gajak, gur (jaggery), peanuts, and popcorn as prasad and place beneath the fire.

The bonfire is lit after sunset and people gather near the bonfire while wearing their brightest clothes and make a circle around it and offer sesame seeds, jaggery, and rewaries in it.

Then, they sit around the fire and sing Punjabi songs, special Lohri songs, and dance till midnight.

At the end of the celebration, they pray to the Fire god and Sun God to bless their land with abundance and prosperity.

Then, prasad is distributed and gifts are exchanged with their friends and family members.

Foods for Lohri: The discussion of the grand festival Lohri is incomplete without the mouth-watering winter foods that are cooked and celebrated on this day.

The traditional Punjabi food items include Sarson da saag and Makki di roti with radish, groundnuts, jaggery, til ki barfi, gur ki roti, makhane ki kheer, panjiri, pinni, till laddoo, and many more.

Special dance of the day: Singing and dancing are an intrinsic part of the celebration.

Lohri in the Himalayan region is special because various traditional activities are associated with it like Chajja making, group dance, and dancing using various props.

All members of a family gather around the bonfire to perform bhangra and gidda to the beat of the dhol.

Hiran dance is a traditional dance form, which is performed on this night.

A group of people prepares a replica of a peacock known as Chajja and they carry this Chajja and visit all houses of that locality while performing the Hiran dance.

Traditional practices on Lohri: Lohri celebration differs depending on the location.

Some villagers prepare a small idol of the folk Lohri goddess with gobar (cattle dung) and decorate it with different colors.

Then they keep the idol beneath the fire and offer prayers.

On this day, children visit various houses while singing folk songs.

These children are given sweets, groundnuts, laddoos, til, gachchak, popcorn, crystal sugar, and some money.

It is believed to be inauspicious to turn them back empty-handed.

These items collected together are known as Lohri.

During the night, Lohri is distributed among all the participants as prasada.

Significance of Lohri: The much-awaited festival of Lohri holds great significance as it marks the harvest of the Rabi crops and the end of the winter season.

People worship the Sun God and the Fire God to thank them for the good harvest.

This day is celebrated by all communities of northern India with different names.

• In Punjab, this festival holds special value for the new brides and newborn babies, as it marks fertility. The festival also holds great importance for farmers, as they believe that their prayers and concerns will receive an immediate answer and their land will smile with an abundance of crops.

On this holy day, according to the folklores of Punjab, the flames of the bonfire will carry the messages and prayers to the Sun god to bring warmth to the planet to help crops grow.

• It is also believed that singing and dancing and walking around the bonfire on Lohri, helps in bringing prosperity, strength, and a new beginning.

Legend of Lohri festival: There are many folklores associated with this historic festival of Punjab, and Dullah Bhatti is one of the most significant of them which evolved around the Festival of Lohri.

It is a tale of a man who used to steal from the rich and rescue girls from cruel abductors.

He used to rescue the girls and provide food and shelter to them as if they were his own daughters.

Finally, he used to arrange a suitable man for their weddings.

 On this day of Lohri, songs of heroism and valour are sung and recited everywhere in Punjab to protect and honour their sisters and daughters.

Most popular song on the eve of Lohri:

Sundri Mundri Hei! Hoi!

Tera Kaun Bechara! Hoi!

Dullah Bhatti wala! Hoi! Dullah Di Dhi viyahi ! Hoi! Sher Shakar pai! Hoi! Kuri de Mamme aaye! Hoi! UnaNe ChuRi Kuti! Hoi! Jimidari Lutti! Hoi!

Ik kola GhuT Gaya! Jimidar Apni.

Summary: Lohri is one of the most popular festivals celebrated among Punjabis in India and abroad. Lohri marks the end of the winter season and beginning of the New Year for Punjabi farmers.

On this day, people of this region pray and show gratitude for their crops before the harvesting begins and pray to Lord Agni and Lord Sun to bless them with new energy and enthusiasm for a new beginning.

Bonfire is an unavoidable part of the Lohri celebration.

Families gather around bonfire, sing, dance and offer foods like gajak, popcorn, jaggery, puffed rice, etc.

to the fire as ‘tribute’ to the fire god in exchange for blessings.

They chant a traditional prayer and distribute prasad to conclude this grand ceremony at midnight.

Lohri Festival

The popular North Indian festival, marks the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days.

 Lohri is celebrated in parts of Northern India a night before Makar Sankranti.

It is a popular Indian festival that is celebrated to mark the beginning of the harvest season for winter crops.

Every year, during the month of Paush, a day before Makar Sankranti – usually on January 13, with much fanfare especially by the people of Punjab, Lohri is celebrated.

The festival is also popular in other parts of the country such as Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Jammu.

Originally, it was observed on the evening before the Winter Solstice, but in more recent years, it is observed the day before Makar Sankranti. Lohri, also known as Lohadi or Lal Loi, is a festival that is closely related to Makar Sankranti.

Lohri festival is traditionally associated with the harvest of rabi crops.

It is time to harvest sugarcane crops.

Even the Punjabi farmers after Lohri (Maghi) see it as the financial New Year.

Three edibles are associated with the Lohri festival that is rewri, peanuts and popcorn. 

From clandestinely licking – off that final grain of sugared, cinnamon-infused rice to relaxing in the tenderness of the splendid bonfire – the Lohri festival is a time of untainted extravagance.

Singing folk songs, dancing to the tunes of dhol, performing bhangra, gidda and chajja, relishing makki ki roti and sarson ka saag and munching gajak, moongfali, tilkut, puffed rice, revdi, popcorn by the bonfire are some of the popular Lohri rituals. 


Indian Origins of Lohri

There are numerous origins of Lohri.

The main subject of Lohri is the conviction that Lohri is the enlightening celebration of Winter solstice.

The key trait of Lohri is the bonfire.

Illuminating the fire has been familiar in winter solstice festivals all through time.

It implies the comeback of the longer days.

Legends of Lohri Origin

 Dulla Bhatti

The main theme of Lohri’s songs is related to the legend of Dulla Bhatti. Dulla Bhatti lived in Punjab state during the supremacy of Akbar.

He was looked upon as a hero of Punjab.

He salvaged deprived Punjabi girls, being powerfully taken to be sold in the slave marketplace of the Middle East from the Sandal Bar region.


Some people think that Lohri has derived its name from the word “Loi”.

Loi was the wife of Saint Kabir.


Some people think that Lohri has derived its name from the word “Loh”. Loh means the warmness & light of a fire.

Significance of the Lohri Festival

In the state of Punjab, the breadbasket of India, Wheat is the major winter crop, which is planted in the month of October and reaped in the month of March or in April.

In the month of January, the fields turn up with the swear of a golden harvest & farmers celebrate the Lohri festival during this period before the cutting & gathering of the crops.

During this period of time, the earth which is farthest from the sun, initiates its journey towards the sun, consequently ending the coldest months of the year, Paush.

It announces the beginning of Magh & the propitious period of Uttarayan. In accordance with the Bhagawad GitaLord Krishna gives evidence of himself in his full splendor this time.

The Hindus annul their sins by taking bath in the Ganges River.

The Bonfire Ritual

In the dusk, massive bonfires are lit in harvested fields & in front yards of homes.

People get together around the flames, circle around the bonfire and toss puffed rice, munchies, and popcorn into the fire and hum popular folk songs.

They pray to the fire god, to sanctify the land with prosperity and abundance.

The prasad consists of 5 major itemsgajak, til, jaggery, popcorn, and peanuts

The Significance of Celebrating Lohri- Punjab’s Greatest Festival

Lohri is one of the most significant festivals celebrated majorly in the Punjab region.

Let us have a look at the significances of this festival and the indian puja items that you need.

Lohri is one of the most important festivals celebrated in India by the Sikhs and majority of people in North India.

This festival has some deep-rooted spiritual and religious significance for the followers.

That is why people perform it with great devotion and significance. It falls on the month of Paush generally around 13th-14th January. 

Lohri also marks the end of winters and welcomes long days.

It is observed a day before the Makar Sankranti.

Lohri has a lot of significances in the Sikh culture.

Importance of Celebrating Lohri:-

  • It thanks the Sun God for his heat and warmth.
  • It is also the celebration of the first winter crops.
  • The sun rays are considered especially holy and auspicious during these days.
  • People decorate homes and wear new clothes.
  • They also lit the bonfire, dance and sing around it.
  • This also marks the end of winter seasons. 


A traditional festival of Punjab, Lohri is celebrated a night before Makar Sankranti to mark the end of winter and to commemorate the harvesting of Rabi crops in Punjab.

Observed every year on January 13, it is not only one of the most significant festivals among Sikhs and Punjabis all over the world, but Lohri is also celebrated by people in Jammu and Kashmir and other states with utmost enthusiasm.

Lohri is also an auspicious occasion for newly-married couples who participate in the traditional rituals, take seven rounds of the holy fire of Lohri and seek blessings from elders.

To celebrate the Lohri festival, people gather around the bonfire and throw puffed rice, and popcorn in the bonfire.

 Then, they sing folk songs and dance together.

Lohri Date

The festival of Lohri is celebrated every year on the night before Makar Sankranti in the Northern parts of the country.

History of Lohri

There are several beliefs and opinions behind why we celebrate Lohri.

The main story about Lohri is linked to Dulla Bhatti. According to the legends, Dulla Bhatti used to live in the Mughal district of Punjab and was popular among people as a fearless man who rescued Hindu girls – Sundri and Mundri from being forcibly trafficked as slaves in the Middle Eastern markets from the Sandal Bar region.

These girls and Dulla Bhatti have become a theme of Punjab folk songs.

Another story revolves around the wife of Saint Kabir, “Loi”, as some people believe that Lohri has derived its name from here, while many legends think that the festival derived its name from the word “Loh”, which stands for light and warmness.

Another belief is that Holika and Lohr were sisters where Holika died in the fire, and the latter survived the same.

On this day, the winter crop of Punjab, wheat, is seen prime in January, which is later harvested in March after a few weeks of harvesting the Rabi crop. Another significant belief is that on this day, the Sun enters the zodiac of Capricorn, which is considered auspicious.

This is why the festival is called “Makar Sankranti”.

How to Celebrate Lohri?

Every year, the festival of Lohri is celebrated by people lighting bonfires.

They dress nicely, sing folk songs and dance around the bonfire while throwing food items like popcorn, peanuts, puffed rice, etc., into the fire to receive blessings from God.

Lohri celebrations begin around 10 to 15 days prior in several parts of Punjab.

People harvest logs for the Lohri bonfire and exchange grains and jaggery.

A huge bonfire is organised with various sweet delicacies on display to eat together.

The vibes turn exciting when everyone dances “Bhangra” and “Gidda” on the beats of Dhol.

people decorate their homes and organise a feast for friends and families.

They pray to fire god to bless the land with prosperity and abundance.

Significance of Lohri

Punjabi Lohri has a significant role in the state of Punjab, where Wheat, a major winter crop, is planted in the month of October and gets reaped in March or April.

In the month of January, it can be seen in its prime stage as the fields turn all gold.

This is why farmers celebrate the festival of Lohri during this period before reaping and collecting all the crops.

Lohri is observed to commemorate the ending of the winter solstice and the movements of the Sun towards the northern hemisphere, after which the days become longer and nights become shorter.

Lohri is about celebrating these warmer days and harvesting rabi crops by farmers signified through bonfires and throwing puffed rice.

The earth starts its journey towards the Sun during this time, commemorating the coldest months of the year.

Some Interesting Facts About Lohri

Punjabis celebrate the festival of happy Lohri with utmost fun and thrill with their friends and family.

Here are some facts that might sound interesting to you about the festival. Take a look:

Now you know the Lohri festival is celebrated in which state – Punjab, but it is a popular Hindu festival associated with the agricultural community.

The festival is celebrated to seek blessings from the God Sun and Goddess Agni.

Sweets are thrown in the fire as Prasadam.

The festival of Lohri marks the ending of cold winter days, after which the nights become shorter and days become longer.

Lohri celebrations signify a bonfire, drum beats, folk dances, and folk music.

Lohri signifies the beginning of a new financial year as traditionally, the earnings of the winter crops are realised on Lohri.

Lohri is an Indian solstice festival just like Yuletide and Christmas.

Due to geographical differences, it falls in the middle of January.

Many fairs and activities are organised on this day which locals, as well as foreign tourists, hugely visit.

Cities in India to Celebrate the Festival of Lohri

The festival of Happy Lohri is celebrated by Punjabis all over the world to bring joy and luck to households.

Here are a few cities you can visit to experience the festival’s vibes. Take a look:


Chandigarh is a beautiful city and capital of Punjab and Haryana, where the festival of Lohri is celebrated with a lot of fun and enthusiasm.

Huge parties are organised, and people meet each other and offer each other happy Lohri wishes and sweets.


Who doesn’t want to visit the city of the Golden Temple during the Lohri festival?

Bonfires are lit up on a large scale, and gurudwaras are decorated nicely.

Markets are full of visitors and offer delicious food to people.

A large number of devotees visit Golden Temple to take blessings.


It is one of the most popular and ancient cities in Punjab, where the Lohri festival is celebrated with lots of thrill and excitement.

New clothes, sparkling ornaments, vibrant music, and delicious food all give interesting festive vibes.


The capital of India, can be a great place to observe the celebrations of Lohri.

People from all religions and backgrounds participate in the Lohri festival and dance around the bonfire to Punjabi folk music.

Summing Up

Now you know that the festival of Happy Lohri is one of the most significant festivals in the Punjab community and is celebrated in the country with lots of fun.

They light bonfires to bring prosperity and pray to god for the end of evil and all other negative energies.

Wish you all a very happy and prosperous Lohri.

Lohri Why This Auspicious Day Is Important?

Lohri is a harvest festival that marks the ending of winters. It celebrates the harvesting of the Rabi crop in Punjab.

In other parts of India, it is known as Makar Sankranti. 

Igniting a bonfire at night is the core ritual of the Lohri celebration.

In fact, some people also organise a signing ceremony or dance competition nearby their house.

 Lohri is an auspicious occasion for newly-married couples to participate in festive rituals and seek blessings from their elders. Generally, Lohri falls on the 13th day of January.

On this occasion, people irrespective of their age and gender, participate in folk songs.

Legend About Lohri

There is a famous legend associated with the celebration of this festival.

The story revolves around the dacoit named Dulla, who was living in the Mughal district of Punjab.

People consider him a fearless man as he was known for single-handedly rescuing the slave girls.

Moreover, apart from saving girls, he was also responsible for arranging their marriages.

Lohri festival is celebrated in honour of Dulla Bhatti and his exploits, Sundri and Mundri.

People have created a theme of this folklore, which they used in folk songs.

Nowadays, it has become common to use this theme in folk songs while celebrating the Lohri harvest festival.

Lohri is indeed an indigenous ritual that emerged in the Himalayan foothills, whose winter is colder than those of the remaining portion of the Arabian peninsula. Once the Rabi season marks its beginning, Hindus and Sikhs lit bonfires in their yards, socialise around the bonfire, and sing and dance together throughout the week.

On the other hand, Punjabis celebrate Lohri till the end of the month, during which the winter solstice occurs.

Significance Of Lohri

Lohri marks the end of the winter solstice and the northwards movement of the Sun.

This festival falls a day after Makar Sankranti, and from this day; nights become shorter, and the day gets longer.

Basically, Lohri is all about welcoming the warmer days which is symbolised by the bonfire.

Many people, especially farmers, begin to harvest the crop from this day.

People also use some ancient mantras so that they may receive the heat of the Sun during the cold days of winter.

There is a belief that if you chant these mantras, the Sun may accept your prayers.

As a result, you may have a chance to celebrate the auspicious day with your family and friends.

The Proceedings Of The Day

Lohri is celebrated with enthusiasm in homes that have recently witnessed a marriage or childbirth.

The majority of North Indians does special Lohri ceremonies. Lohri events are recorded, with unique Lohri songs accompanying them.

Music and dancing are two important parts of Lohri. People adorn themselves with the finest outfits to join dance and singing competitions.

People living in urban areas also celebrate Lohri with great pleasure.

Lohri celebration begins approximately 10 to 15 days prior, in multiple parts of Punjab. Boys and girls go around the countryside harvesting logs for the Lohri bonfire.

They also accumulate products such as grains and jaggery, which are sold and the earnings are exchanged among the community in some areas.

Once the bonfire is lit, people sing and dance around it as well as throw food items like popcorn, puffed rice, popcorns, and others as a tribute to good.

All these offerings are made in order to receive blessings from god.

Like every festival, Lohri is also incomplete without some delicious food.

The traditional food of this festival is saag and makki di roti, gur ki roti, til ki barfi panjiri, makhane ki kheer, till laddoo, pinni, gondh ladoo, and many more.

Some Other Facts About Lohri

It’s a Hindu solstice festival

Lohri is a winter solstice festival of India. It is Indian euivalent of Christmas or Yuletide.

However, it comes later due to seasonal differences in the place of origin.

The longest night of the year

Have you ever wondered that why all the rituals and festivities takes place after the sunset.

The truth is that Lohri has a longest day and shortest day. However, after Lohri days will be longer.

The reason behind its name

There are many origins of the name Lohri. One popular belief is that Lohri is named after the Goddess Lohri, the sister of Holika.

If we move away from the traditional outlook, it is the combination of name til (sessame) and rorhi (jaggery) which is majorly consumed in this festival.

It also has its origin the word “Loh” which means light and comfort of fire.

Starting of the financial year

Lohri marks the beginning of new finacial year.

Traditionally, the revenue of the winter crops are collected on the Lohri.

It is still an important custom in the Sikh community.

The Importance and Significance Of Lohri Festival

Lohri is a popular winter festival of harvest celebrated widely by Sikhs and Hindus across India.

It is observed a night before Makar Sankranti and is celebrated with great pomp and show in the north Indian region.

The first of the many Hindu festivals in the year, Lohri holds a special place among the farming community as it is a festival of harvest marking the end of long, cold nights of the winter solstice.

The end also signifies a new beginning and new Rabi crops and hopes for a fruitful harvest are primed together. 

Contrary to popular belief, Lohri is not only a festival in the northern Indian region, primarily Punjab, but also one that is celebrated in Southern regions albeit with different names like Pongal and Makar Sankranti.

It is also a scientific phenomenon because it is purely based on the science of astronomy and crop cycle which is religion agnostic.

Basically, it is a celebration of the revival or return of sunlight into the northern hemisphere and it coincides with the harvest season as well. 

Let’s take a look at the historic significance of Lohri and how the way of celebrating has evolved.

Significance of Lohri: History and Legend

There are many folklore and stories about the Lohri festival. Let’s take a look at the most significant ones:

The Legend of Dulla Bhatti

Numerous legends are associated with Lohri, the most famous and interesting one being “Dulla Bhatti”.

Dulla Bhatti was a popular figure, somewhat similar to Robinhood which made him a local hero among the poor.

As the legend goes, he once rescued some damsels from the Mughals and took care of them like his own daughters.

There are many jovial folk songs on the figure of Dulla Batti which commemorate his feats making them a part of the history of the Lohri festival.

During Lohri, children in the neighbourhood collect sweets from all houses in the form of loot which is then offered first to the bonfire and leftover is relished as “prasad”.

Concept of Lohri: Lohri Meaning and Importance

Are you aware of the meaning of the term ‘Lohri’?

Lohri was derived from ‘Tilohri’ where ‘til’ represent sesame and ‘rorhi’ represent gur or jaggery.

These items are considered to be great stomach cleansers and a source of high power and nutrients.

It’s considered auspicious to start your new year with these food items for renewed energy.

That is the reason why Lohri prasad mainly comprises food items made of jaggery and til like gajjak and chikki

Importance of Bonfire

According to Hindu and Sikh religious beliefs, fire is considered to be the ultimate cleanser of negative energy.

The fumes of the holy fire have the potential to draft away negative energy and give a positive, fresh start.

Fire is also a direct representation of Lord Agni, and it is considered auspicious to take his blessings at the start of the year for the best, possible start.

It is also considered very auspicious to walk around the fire.

According to religious beliefs, the prayers of the devotee circling the bonfire gets an immediate resolution from the almighty.

Winter Festival of Harvest

Arguably the most logical and popular reason, Lohri has an important significance because it is the first festival of the new year.

India is one of the largest producers of agricultural products in the world and depends heavily on its farming community for its economy and supplies.

Harvest festivals are celebrated all over our country with different names where the farming community thank the gods for a good, seasonal harvest and pray for a fruitful and prosperous future.

The chants of “Aadar aye dilather jaye” i.e. “may honour come and poverty vanish” are repeated around the bonfire while rejoicing with close ones. 

These are some popular and widely believed reasons behind the Lohri celebration.

The method of celebration might have changed, but the importance of the Lohri festival remains the same. 

Lohri Celebration and Trends

Just like other Indian festivals, Lohri has its specific traditions and methods of celebration. People gather together, light a bonfire, distribute popcorn, peanuts, rewari and gajak (traditional winter sweets) to friends, neighbours and relatives.

In north India, Lohri holds special significance for the newly-married couple or the newborn child in the family as family members and relatives gather together to celebrate their first Lohri.

It is also traditional to eat sesame rice which is made by mixing jaggery, sesame seeds and rice on this day.

These food items hold special significance to the festival of Lohri.

Generally, in towards evening, people assemble in an open space and gather wood logs, dung cakes, and sugar cane and light it.

There is also some religious value attached to the fire there is a circumambulation around it as a mark of respect and thanksgiving for a good harvest.

A lot of traditional sweets are offered to the fire. Punjabi folk dance and song are highlights of the festival which culminates with a good feast.

Lohri Celebration for Newlyweds: 1st Lohri Celebration

The first Lohri celebration after marriage is considered very auspicious and it is celebrated with great festivity and pomp.

The bride and groom wear new attires topped fully with accessories like bangles, turban, jewellery etc.

It’s customary for them to pray together and donate food and gifts to the needy. In return, they return gifts and blessings from their friends and family members.

The purpose of the Lohri festival is to celebrate and rejoice and it’s the perfect opportunity for a newlywed couple to make a positive start to their journey together. 

Lohri is celebrated with a lot of festivity and preparations in Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir since the Mughal era. 

Baby’s First Lohri

A newborn baby’s first Lohri is celebrated with glitz and glamour.

The baby and mother are dressed in matching clothes, they are presented to the general audience comprising of friends and families in their bestattires.

The mother then sits with her baby in her arms and the relatives and friends come one by one, offering their blessings and gifts to the mother and newborn. 

Lohri is the first festival of the new year and if you are looking to give your home a fresh new touch, this can be the perfect time for you.

Now that you have more information about the importance of the Lohri celebration, start this festive season with a revamped home to make the perfect positive start.

Take full benefits of the significance of Lohri.

Get expert home interior designers from NoBroker and customise your home as per your needs.

If you want the best in class professionals at the lowest price, just comment on your requirement under this blog and our executive will be in touch with you shortly. 


What is Happy Lohri?

Lohri is an Indian winter festival celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs.

Happy Lohri is the conventional wish around the festival that people exchange wishing each other a prosperous festive season.

What is the significance of Lohri?

The most popular and widely believed significance of Lohri is that it is the first winter festival of harvest every new year.

It signifies the end of cold, harsh nights of winter and the beginning of pleasant sunny days, which is very necessary for a fruitful harvest. 

How is Lohri celebrated?

Bonfire and celebration is the highlight of Lohri.

Generally, in towards evening, people assemble in an open space and gather wood logs, dung cakes, and sugar cane and light it.

A lot of traditional sweets are offered to the fire.

Punjabi folk dance and song are enjoyed during the festival which culminates with a good feast

Why do we burn a bonfire on Lohri?

The fire is a direct representation of Lord Agni.

it is a common belief that the fire purifies and cleanses the energies of the people around the bonfire.

It is also a prayer to the Sun god for its blessings. 

Who was Dulla Bhatti?

Dulla Bhatti was a popular figure during the Mughal era, who was considered a local hero by the locals.

According to the legends, he rescued two Brahmin girls from the captivity of the Mughal emperor Akbar.

Dulla rescued them from Akbar’s harem and became their Godfather.

He took care of the girls like his own daughters and married them off on the day of Lohri.

Hence, started a tradition of celebrating the first Lohri after marriage with pomp and festivity. 

Lohri Significance & Auspicious Time

Lohri is a traditional winter folk festival in North India as well as a popular harvest celebration.

It is observed to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest, signifies the end of winter & the start of a new harvest season.

Lohri usually occurs a day before Makar Sankranti & is associated with the Vikrami Calendar (an ancient Hindu calendar).

It falls in the month of Paush (January/December) & in most years, it falls between the 13th & 14th of January of the Gregorian Calendar.

Lohri is a traditional winter folk festival in North India, as well as a popular harvest celebration for farmers. During Lohri, people perform Puja as a way of expressing their gratitude to the gods of the sun and fire.

Although there are many different religious interpretations of this occasion, the festival primarily marks the Sun’s progress toward the Northern Hemisphere.

Lohri signifies the end of winter and the start of a new harvest season since this is the time of year when the Earth is closest to the Sun.

A flaming bonfire is meant to keep the bitter cold of January at bay.

The festival of Lohri, which is celebrated the day before Makar Sankranti, symbolizes the purification and organizing of all things in preparation for the forthcoming year.

 Where is Lohri celebrated?

One of the most well-known festivals in North India, Lohri is primarily celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Jammu.

Although it is celebrated in Delhi and Haryana, it is not a gazetted holiday.

When is Lohri celebrated?

Lohri usually occurs a day before Mahi or Makar Sankranti and is associated with the Vikrami Calendar (an ancient Hindu calendar used in the Indian subcontinent).

It falls in the month of Paush (January/December) and is determined by the Solar part of the Lunisolar Punjabi Calendar; in most years, it falls between the 13th and 14th of January of the Gregorian Calendar.

What is the Historical Reference of Lohri?

According to historical sources, Europeans occasionally visited Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s Lahore Darbar.

Captain Mackeson makes an additional mention of Maharaja Ranjit Singh distributing clothes, money and other rewards in honor of Lohri in 1844 by lighting a large bonfire at night in the royal court.

Then it was progressively celebrated in the Himalayan area, where winter is colder than in the rest of the subcontinents.

Hindus and Sikhs would customarily build bonfires in their yards after weeks of Rabi season harvesting work, gather around them to socialize and engage in lively singing and dancing.

 The legend of two Sisters – Holika and Lohri

A legend suggests that Holika (a famous demoness of Hindu mythology) and Lohri were sisters.

Following a command from Hiranyaksha (an oppressive demigod), Holika lured Prahlada (son of Hiranyaksha and a devotee of Lord Vishnu) and Lohri to sit in the fire.

While Holika succumbed to the Holi fire, Lohri and Prahlad made it through the trial.

What is the Folklore behind Lohri?

It shares a connection with the well-known Dulla Bhatti folktale from the Lohri Punjab region.

According to this folklore, the Zamindar of Punjab was revered there for saving Punjabi girls from being kidnapped and sold as slaves in the Middle Eastern market.

He saved two girls, Sundri and Mundri, who over time came to be recurring figures in Punjabi legend.

Children participate in the tradition by going around homes and singing the Lohri folk songs with ‘Dulla Bhatti,’ also known as ‘Robinhood of Punjab.’ After the song is over, the home’s adult is required to offer the singing group refreshments and money.

This is the song that is sung to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti:

Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chacha gali dese!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
Bum Bum bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari itt!
Paanvey ro te paanvey pitt!
Sanoo de de Lohri, te teri jeeve jodi!
(Laugh, cry or howl!)

Beautiful girl
Who will think about you
Dulla of the Bhatti clan will
Dulla’s daughter got married
He gave me a few grams of sugar!
The girl is wearing a red suit!
But her shawl is torn!
Who will stitch her shawl?!
The uncle made choori!
The landlords looted it!
Landlords are beaten up!
Lots of simple-headed boys came!
One simpleton got left behind!
The soldier arrested him!
The soldier hit him with a brick!
(Cry or howl)!
Give us Lohri, long live your pair (to a married couple)!
Whether you cry or bang your head later

 What is the connection between Winter Crop Season & Lohri?

The celebration of Lohri marks the arrival of the harvest and warm weather.

The festival of Lohri is celebrated in some areas by lighting bonfires, eating celebratory cuisine, dancing, and receiving gifts.

A newlywed couple and a new mother typically celebrate Lohri in private and may even perform traditional Puja with their close-knit family.

People gather to dance the well-known Punjabi dance known as Gidda and Bhangra while donning colorful clothing and setting up the drums.

As this is also a farmer’s celebration, Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti (mustard leaf gravy with corn flour flatbread) are quite important.

This is the time of the year when mustard, corn, sugarcane, radishes, and other crops are harvested.

People enjoy sweets prepared with sugar ( Gajak), sesame seeds, and groundnuts (chikki).

Because it is suited to agro-climatic conditions, mustard seeds are mostly grown in the winter.

After sunset, people light bonfires and enjoy the warmth of the fire by tossing sesame seeds, Gur, sugarcane candy, puffed corn, and rice into the flames. Some people offer prayers and circle the fire.

To thank the fire deity for his protection, milk and water are poured around the bonfire.


In addition to everything mentioned above, Lohri is a celebration that has a special relationship with the sun, the earth and the fire.

Earth represents our need for sustenance; the sun represents the element of life; and fire represents our state of health.

It is a way to thank the Lord for this existence and the opportunity granted to access all these natural components completely free of cost.

What is the Bonfire Ritual in Lohri?

What is the Bonfire Ritual in Lohri Festival? In the evening, with the setting of the sun, huge bonfires are lit in the harvested fields and in the front yards of houses and people gather around the rising flames, circle around (parikrama) the bonfire and throw puffed rice, popcorn and other munchies into the fire, shouting Aadar aye dilather jaye” (May honor come and poverty vanish!) and sing popular folk songs.

What is the Bonfire Ritual in Lohri Festival?

This is a sort of prayer to Agni, the fire god, to bless the land with abundance and prosperity.

After the parikrama, people meet friends and relatives, exchange greetings and gifts, and distribute prasad (offerings made to god). The prasad comprises five main items: til, gajak, jaggery, peanuts, and popcorn.

Winter savories are served around the bonfire with the traditional dinner of makki-di-roti (multi-millet hand-rolled bread) and sarson-da-saag (cooked mustard herbs).

Best Place to Celebrate Lohri Festival in India:

Well, if you haven’t been a part of this vibrant festival then I am here to give you some top places to visit for Lohri celebration.

All these places come with a guarantee of some epic Lohri celebration, and you will surely love your time at these destinations.

  • Amritsar: Undoubtedly, a not-to-miss out destination in Punjab whenever it is about the celebrating the festival of Lohri and the home to the famous Golden Temple, Amritsar is one of those cities in Punjab that have kept its culture and traditions well-preserved, and hence, the people of the city keenly look forward to the festival of Lohri.
  • Chandigarh: Touted as one of the cleanest cities in India, Chandigarh is amongst the best places in India to be a part of the effervescent festival of Lohri. Whatever festival it is, the people of Chandigarh know how to cherish a day or celebrate it to the fullest. With the traditional celebration which include singing and dancing, Lohri in Chandigarh is a high-spirited celebration.
  • New Delhi: Like the Punjab region, the capital city also celebrates the festival of Lohri with much devotion and ardour. Being a cosmopolitan, the entire city of Delhi celebrates this festival. However, there are few Punjabi areas like Punjabi Bagh, Karol Bagh, Tilak Nagar and Subhash Nagar where you can see a larger chunk of people celebrating the Lohri festival. Being a diverse city with many cultures, the Lohri celebration in Delhi, as compared to that of in Punjab, is bit different, yet, it is fun to watch.
  • Ludhiana: Located on the bank of Sutlej River, Ludhiana is another place in Punjab where the winter festival of India, Lohri, is celebrated on a grand scale. In the city, the preparations of the celebration start a month in advance, people fly kites, dance performances are choreographed in advance, fairs are organized days before the festival, and much more.
  • Jalandhar: One of the historical cities in Punjab is Jalandhar. Despite the modernization, the people of the city have managed to keep alive the traditional and cultural history of Punjab. And if you want to witness the traditional celebration of Lohri, no other place than Jalandhar is best to enjoy that.


Many cultures have some sort of harvest festival or day of giving thanks: Germans have Erntedankfest, Koreans have Chuseok, and Americans have Thanksgiving.

In India, too, there is a special day each year for celebrating the harvest and hoping for future blessings: the Lohri festival. 

This holiday is especially popular in the Indian Punjab region, where sugarcane and other crops are harvested early in the year.

 1. What is Lohri?

Lohri is a harvest festival celebrating the harvest of Rabi crops.

The Lohri festival is celebrated each year on or around January 13 in पंजाब (panjaab), or “Punjab.”

People in some other regions of India and Pakistan celebrate this holiday as well. 

The meaning of Lohri is twofold: On the one hand, it celebrates the winter solstice and the arrival of longer, warmer days.

On the other, it also celebrates the annual January harvest of गन्ने (ganne), or “sugarcane,” and other wintertime produce. 

Historical Significance of Lohri

Traditionally, Lohri is considered a harvest festival and is perceived as a time to ask the gods for blessings and abundance.

There are a few theories about where the name ‘Lohri’ originated: 

  • It could be a shortened version of the combined words til and rorhi (tilohri -> lohri).

These words mean “sesame seed” and “gur,” respectively. 

  • Another theory is that the name is a shortened version of ‘Loi,’ which was the name of a saint’s wife. 
  • There is still a third theory that suggests the name comes from ‘loh,’ which is a word referring to warmth and light. 

This holiday is often associated with religious traditions of the past, including remembrance of the sun god Surya and the fire god Agni.

In some circles, there is also a popular folk tale about a man named Dulla Bhatti who spent much of his life rescuing young girls from being sold into slavery. 

2. Lohri Celebrations and Traditions

The bonfire is the focal point of Lohri celebrations.

While this holiday is mainly celebrated in Punjab, there are other regions in both India and Pakistan that observe the holiday. Exact traditions vary from one region to another. 

The Lohri celebration in Punjab is met with much enthusiasm, and holiday preparation actually begins several days before.

During this time, children work together to gather firewood that will be used for the traditional pyre and  उत्सावाग्नि (utsavaagni), or “bonfire.”

They also participate in a fun tradition called Lohri Booty, in which groups of children go from home to home singing songs in order to receive some kind of sweet treat or even money. 

On the night of Lohri, there is a large bonfire that serves as the focal point of the celebrations.

People gather around the fire wearing bright and colorful clothing, and together they pray, sing, dance, and indulge in special Lohri snacks made from the harvested sugarcane and other types of रब्बी की फसल (rabbi ki fasal), or “Rabi crop.” 

While music plays—either from a traditional instrument called ढोल (dhol) or from an electronic device—people take revolutions around the bonfire and dance.

Popular songs include those about the good deeds of Dulla Bhatti.

There are two types of dances: Bhangra which is performed by men and गिद्धा (giddha) which is performed by women.

Both dances are known for their high energy and spirit. 

A pyre is burned in the bonfire, sometimes featuring an idol of the Lohri goddess, and people throw food into the fire.

Burning the food like this is seen as an offering to the fire god, as well as a way to ‘burn’ the old year and prepare for the new one. 

3. The Many Foods of Lohri

Jaggery is one of the most popular Indian foods, especially for holidays. 

Because Lohri is a harvest festival, food is one of its central elements.

The people of Punjab prepare a variety of seasonal meals and other treats using ingredients from the harvest, including the sugarcane.

Some popular harvest items during this time include मूँगफली (moongfalee), or “peanut,” and गुड (gud), or “jaggery.”

Traditional Punjabi dishes include Sarson ka saag and Makke ki roti.

The first is a dish consisting of mustard greens and spices, and the latter is an unleavened, cornmeal-based bread.

Very often, Sarson ka saagMakke ki roti, and jaggery are served together to make a complete, delicious holiday meal! 

4. Must-Know Vocabulary for the Lohri Festival

On Lohri, women perform an upbeat dance called Giddha. 

Now let’s review some of the words from this article, plus a few more! 

  • मूँगफली (moongfalee) – “peanut” [noun]
  • पंजाब (panjaab) – “Punjab” [noun]
  • उत्सावाग्नि (utsavaagni) – “bonfire” [noun]
  • गन्ने (ganne) – “sugarcane” [noun]
  • धनु राशि (dhanu rashi) – “Sagittarius” [proper noun]
  • तिल (til) – “sesame seed” [noun]
  • गुड (gud) – “jaggery” [noun]
  • सरसों का साग (sarson ka saag) – “Sarson ka saag” [proper noun]
  • मक्‍के की रोटी (makke ki roti) – “Makke ki roti” [proper noun]
  • ढोल (dhol) – “Dhol” [proper noun]
  • गिद्धा (giddha) – “Giddha” [proper noun]
  • रब्बी की फसल (rabbi ki fasal) – “Rabi crop” [proper noun]

Remember that you can find each of these words along with an audio recording of their pronunciation on our Lohri vocabulary list! 

Final Thoughts

Lohri plays a significant role in Punjabi society and India as a whole. In this article, you learned why Lohri is celebrated in Punjab, what modern-day traditions look like, and more—but your studies aren’t over yet! 

Lohri Celebration

 Lohri is a special festival for all Hindus and the occasion is celebrated with great pomp and ceremony

Sl. No   Item      Qty       Measure

1          Agarbatti (Incense Stick)            1          box

2          Akshat Rice      20         grams

3          Cotton Wick      10         grams

4          Dhoopbatti       1          packet

5          Gajak    100       grams

6          Ganga Jal (Ganges Water)         60         ml

7          Ghee (Clarified Butter)   13         ml

8          Gur       100       grams

9          Honey   8          grams

10         Lohri Diya         1          pc

11         Matchbox         1          box

12         Mishri   30         grams

13         Moli Kalava       1          roll

14         Moongphali (Peanuts)    100       grams

15         Phuliya (Puffed Rice)     10         grams

16         Popcorn           25         grams

17         Puja Samagri    100       grams

18         Purified Mango Wood Havan Sticks       200       grams

19         Rewari  100       grams

20         Roli Kumkum    10         grams

21         Smoke-less Kapur (Camphor)    10         grams

22         Thali Set with Cover       1          pc

23         Til (Sesame Seed)         10         grams

24         Wax Wick         1          box

Lohri Puja Vidhi, Procedure and timings

Quintessentially, the day begins with children visiting door to door chanting and calling ‘Lohri Loot’ in return of which they are showered with money, gifts and food.

After sunset, people as a community gather with family, friends and relatives and huge bonfires are lit in front of the houses or in harvested fields and anytime after sunset it is auspicious for the rituals to begin.

People show a lot of vigour and enthusiasm and perform traditional dances around the bonfire.

Generally, men prefer to perform ‘Bhangra’ while women usually take to ‘Giddha’.

With the beating of drums, men and women dance to their content till late in the night while children sing songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti and cajole elders for money.

As part of the ritual women wear jewellery and newborns are given little combs.

Houses are swept and cleaned for the bonfire ritual while people wear new clothes and gift sweets to each other.

Farmers also offer ‘Phulle’ to the fire as a sow of gratitude to the Sun god and chant shlokas by saying ‘Adar Aaye Dilather Jaye’ which translates into ‘May prosperity arrive and poverty depart from our house’.

After the puja, jaggery, gajak, til, peanuts, popcorns are distributed as prasad.

Lohri Puja Samagri

The ritual is that people dance around the bonfire, made of wood and cow dung cakes, while throwing in popcorn, laddoos, rewdi, phulle, jaggery, sugarcane and other food objects as part of the puja offering.