Lohri is a festival connected with the solar year. Generally, it is an accepted fact that this festival is to worship fire. This is particularly a happy occasion for the couples who for the first time celebrated Lohri after their marriage and also the first Lohri of the son born in a family. The wood crackles and burns, the fire blazes high, a circle of warmth on a cold winter’s night. Lohri is essentially a festival dedicated to the Sun god. Lohri is a joyous time to eat gur and peanuts, singing songs and share the warmth with your family and loved ones.
Lohri is essentially a festival dedicated to fire and the sun god. The celebration of Lohri marks the time when the sun shines from the “Uttrarayan”, meaning it passes across Makar (the zodiac sign Capricorn) and moves northwards. This alteration of the sun’s position lessens the severity of the winter season and the earth receives warmth bringing comfort to her inhabitants. Lohri celebrates this impending comfort and sees nightlong festivities that has people lighting bonfires to combat the chilly weather, and singing and dancing around it in a festive mood. The fire also symbolizes the sun and is seen as a source of energy and spiritual strength. It is worshipped as a deity with food-offerings consisting of peanuts, popcorn and sweets made of til-chirva, gajak and revri.
The rituals and celebrations associated with Makara Sankaranti and Lohri are only symbolic of a common thanksgiving to nature as represented by the Sun god, and in the process, the festivities embody a spirit of brotherhood, unity and gratitude, with family reunions and merrymaking generating a lot of happiness, goodwill and cheer.