Lohri is a popular winter Punjabi folk festival celebrated primarily by Sikhs and Hindus across India, especially in the northern states. The festival is celebrated one day before Maghi (Makar Sankranti) and is marked by traditional festivities like lighting bonfires, family meals, dancing and singing. The date of the Lohri festival is determined as per Hindu Solar Calendar. This year, Lohri 2024 will be celebrated on Sunday, January 14. The Lohri Sankranti Moment is at 02:54 AM on January 15. The popular festival of Punjab is also known by several other names like Lohadi or Lal Loi.  Lohri in the year 2024 will fall on January 14, as Maghi will be falling on January 15. Singing and dancing form an intrinsic part of the Lohri celebrations.

Here are five important things to know about Lohri.

1. Harvest Festival

Lohri marks the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days. The festival of Lohri is mainly a harvest festival celebrated by farmers to mark the end of the winter season and the arrival, celebrating the harvest of rabi crops like wheat.

2. Solstice Festival

Lohri is also known as a solstice festival. Many regions around the world have a winter solstice festival such as Christmas or Yuletide. Lohri is said to end the cold days and commence longer and warmer days.

3. Lohri Bonfire

One of the main customs of Lohri is the lighting of bonfires. People gather around the bonfire, sing and dance to the beats of drums, and throw food items like popcorn, peanuts, and sesame seeds into the fire as an offering to the bonfire and pray for prosperity and abundance.

4. Name of Lohri Festival

The name of the festival has many variations. However, as per traditional beliefs, it is said to be the name of the Goddess Lohri, the sister of Holika, who is celebrated on Holi.

5. Social Celebration

On the day of Lohri, people wear their brightest clothes and come to dance the bhangra and giddha to the beat of the dhol. Lohri brings people from diverse backgrounds together, fostering unity and harmony. It's a time when friends and family exchange greetings, gifts, and good wishes, strengthening bonds and spreading happiness. People celebrate Lohri by singing traditional folk songs termed as ‘Boliyan’ and performing dance forms like Bhangra and Giddha. These activities symbolize happiness and joy, fostering a sense of community among people.

Lohri is a vibrant and joyous festival that celebrates the spirit of togetherness, abundance, and the arrival of longer days after the winter season.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 14, 2024 12:03 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).