Lohri and Maghi - 2016


Lohri is an extremely popular Punjabi agricultural winter festival celebrated throughout Punjab and in parts of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu.

In 2016 Lohri will be celebrated on Thursday, 14 January, 2016. 

In 2015 Lohri was celebrated on Wednesday, 14 January. 

In 2016 Lohri will be celebrated on Thursday, 14 January. 

In 2017 Lohri will be celebrated on Friday, 13 January. 

 In 2018 Lohri will be celebrated on Saturday, 13 January. 

 In 2019 Lohri will be celebrated on Monday, 14 January. 

 In 2020 Lohri will be celebrated on Tuesday, 14 January. 

The origins of Lohri:

(1) Indian origins-

Lohri is the Punjabis' and Dogras' cultural celebration on the eve of the winter solstice. However, instead of celebrating Lohri on the eve of winter solstice, Punjabis celebrate it on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place, Paush. This is due to linking Lohri to the Bikrami calendar.

(2) Link to Makar Sankranti

With the formulation of the Bikrami calendar, Lohri has been twinned with the Hindu winter solstice festival of Makar Sankranti which relates to the Sun's entry into the new sign, Makar. Hindus pray to the Hindu Sun God, Ravi on Makar Sankranti which is meant to be celebrated on winter solstice day.

Due to the link of Lohri to the Bikrami calendar, the true origin of Lohri has become blurred. People often say that Lohri must be celebrated on the last day of Paush but also refer to Lohri day being the shortest in the year. This creates confusion when explaining the significance of Lohri as two festivals with different origins have become linked as they both relate to the winter solstice.

(3) Lohri and harvest festival

Lohri is traditionally associated with the harvest of the rabi crops. People take peanuts, rewri, flour, butter and various food items to places of religious worship to thank God for a good harvest.people thank or worshipped sun and fire god also .

(4) Lohri and the financial new year

Punjabi farmers see the day after Lohri as the financial new year.



(1) Dulla Bhatti

Over time, people have associated Lohri to the tale of Dulla Bhatti. The central character of most Lohri songs is Dulla Bhatti,who lived in Punjab during the reign of Emperor Akbar. He was regarded as a hero in Punjab. Besides robbing the rich, he rescued Hindu girls being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East. He arranged their marriages to Hindu boys with rituals and provided them with dowries. So every other Lohri song has words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.

Dulla Bhatti was a rebel whose lineage was of Bhatti Rajputs . His anscestors were the rulers of Pindi Bhattian in Sandal Bar area of present day Pakistan. He was a hero of all Punjabis and his var (life story) is available on the internet.

(2) Loi

Some people believe that Lohri has derived its name from Loi, the wife of Saint [Rohit Nandan Prajapati].

(3) Til and rorhi

Eating of til (sesame seeds) and rorhi (jaggery) is considered to be essential on Lohri day. Perhaps the words til and rorhi merged to become tilorhi, which eventually got shortened to Lohri.



According to the Bikrami calendar, Lohri falls in the month of Paush i.e. around 13 January, as per the Gregorian calendar. It is, actually, celebrated a day before Makara Sankranthi, as it marks the end of the winter season. The sun usually enters the Nirayana Makara rashi (Capricorn) on January 14 (99% of the time). However, there are times when the sun could enter the zodiac a day before or a day after January 14. Regardless, Lohri is still celebrated a day before Makar Sankranti. Makara sankranti marks beginning of the solar maagha masa, and Lohri must be celebrated on the last day of the solar Dhanur masa, which also marks the exit of the sun from Dhanu rashi (Sagittarius).


During the day, children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dulha Bhatti. These children are given sweets and savories, and occasionally, money. Turning them back empty-handed is regarded inauspicious.

The collections gathered by the children are known as Lohri and consist of til, gachchak, crystal sugar, gur (jaggery), moongphali (peanuts) and phuliya or popcorn. Lohri is then distributed at night during the festival. Till, peanuts, popcorn and other food items are also thrown into the fire.

The bonfire ceremony differs depending on the location in Punjab. In some parts, a small image of the Lohri goddess is made with gobar (cattle dung) decorating it, kindling a fire beneath it and chanting its praises. In other parts, the Lohri fire consists of cow dung and wood with no reference to the Lohri goddess.

The bonfire is lit at sunset in the main village square. People toss sesame seeds, gur, sugar-candy and rewaries on the bonfire, sit around it, sing and dance till the fire dies out. Some people perform a prayer and go around the fire. This is to show respect to the natural element of fire. It is traditional to offer guests til, gachchak, gur, moongphali (peanuts) and phuliya or popcorn. Milk and water is also poured around the bonfire by Hindus. This ritual is performed for thanking the Sun God and seeking his continued protection.

People take dying embers of the fire to their homes.


Punjabi woman participate in Gidda

While Lohri is essentially a Punjabi festival, it is celebrated in some other states of North India as well. In cities like Delhi, which have a predominant Punjabi population, Lohri is celebrated to denote the last of the coldest days of winter. Apart from Punjab, people from other northern Indian states of Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu, become busy making preparations for Lohri.

In houses that have recently had a marriage or childbirth, Lohri celebrations will reach a higher pitch of excitement. Punjabis usually have private Lohri celebrations, in their houses. Lohri rituals are performed, with the accompaniment of special Lohri songs.

Singing and dancing form an intrinsic part of the celebrations. People wear their brightest clothes and come to dance the bhangra and gidda to the beat of the dhol. Punjabi songs are sung, and everybody rejoices. Saron da saag and makki di roti is usually served as the main course at a Lohri dinner. Lohri is a great occasion that holds great importance for farmers. However, people residing in urban areas also celebrate Lohri, as this festival provides the opportunity to interact with family and friends.



There are many Lohri songs.

Lohri Song --1:

The following song has words to express gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.

[The 'ho's are in chorus]

“Sundar mundariye -- ho!

Tera kaun vicaharaa -- ho!
Dullah bhatti walla -- ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae -- ho!
Ser shakkar payee -- ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka -- ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta -- ho!
Salu kaun samete! --ho
Chache choori kutti! -- ho!
zamidara lutti! -- ho!
Zamindaar sudhaye! -- ho!
bade bhole aaye! -- ho!
Ek bhola reh gaya! -- ho!
Sipahee pakad ke lai gaya! -- ho!
Sipahee ne mari itt!  -- ho!
Paahnnve ro te paahnnve pit! ”

Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi!


Beautiful girl
Who will think about you
Dulla of the Bhatti clan will
Dulla's daughter got married
He gave one ser 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!
Whether you cry, or bang your head later!

Give us Lohri, long live your pair (to a married couple)!


Lohri Song --2:

“Hulle nee maiyee hulle
do beri patte jhulle
do jhul payeaan kahjurran
khajurran suttya meva
 es munde de ghar mangeva
es munde di voti nikdi
oh! khandi choori, kutdi
Kut! Kut! Bharaya thaal
woti bave nananaa nal
Ninaan te wadi parjaee
So kudma de ghar aayee!
mein lohri lain aayee!”


Fun Song--3:

( The hulle's or shava's are in chorus )

“Hulle hulare hulle - hulle!

Asi ganga pohnche - hulle!
sas sora pohnche - hulle!
jeth jathani pohnche - hulle!
dyor darani pohnche - hulle!
pairi shaunkan pohnchi - hulle!

hulle hulare hulle - hulle!

asi ganga nahte - hulle!
jeth jathani nahte - hulle!
dyor darani nahte - hulle!
pairi shaunkan nahtii- hulle!

hulle hulare hulle - hulle!

shaunkan paili pauri- hulle!
shaunkan duji pauri- hulle!
shaunkan tiji pauri- hulle!
maiti dhakka ditta - hulle!
shaukan vichhe rud gayi-hulle!

hulle hulare hulle -hulle!

sas sora ron- hulle!
jeth jathani ron -hulle!
dyor darani ron -hulle!
paira oh wi rove -hulle!
main kya tusi kyon ronde -hulle!
tvade jogi main batheji
mainu dyo badhaiyaan ji
shukan rode aiyaan ji

Hulle Hullare Hulle -hulle!


"We set off to have a holy bath in the Ganges
Mother and father in law tagged along
Elder brother and sister in law tagged along
Younger brother and sister in law tagged along
But that bitch my co-wife too latched on

We reached the bank of the Ganges
Mother and father in law landed up
Elder brother and sister in law landed up
Younger brother and sister in law landed up
But that bitch my co-wife too landed up there

We bathed in the Ganges
Mother and father in law had a bath
Elder brother and sister in law had a bath
Younger brother and sister in law had a bath
But that bitch my co-wife too had a bath

Co-wife climbed the first step
Co-wife climbed the second step
Co-wife reached the third step
I gave her a shove
Co-wife drowned in the stream

Mother and father in law wail
Elder brother and sister in law wail
Younger brother and sister in law wail
But that bastard also wailed
I said why do you wail
I am good enough for you

 Congratulate me
I have returned after drowning my co-wife"


Dances of Punjab:

Dances are one of the most fun loving aspect of Lohri celebration. Punjab is a land of exciting culture, myriad images of swaying emerald green fields and hearty people whose robust rustic dances that reflects unique camaraderie and bonhomie. Lohri dances are very much a part of the heritage of Punjab. Punjabi dance form is unique in sense that there is altogether different dance forms for male and female.
While the male dances are the Bhangra, jhoomer, luddi, julli and dankara. the female one's are Giddha and Kikli.

 Bhangra and Giddha are the most popular form of dances performed by man and women on Lohri.



The next day of Lohri is known as Maghi, a day that signifies the beginning of the month of Magh. According to common belief, this is an auspicious day to take holy dip and give away charity. Kheer is prepared in sugar cane juice to mark the day. Maghi is also a Sikh day of commemoration of a battle. The festival honors the martyrdom of the “forty immortals” who were followers of Guru Gobind Singhandand died in his defense.

 Maghi, also known as Makara Sankranti, is the first day of the month of Magh. The eve of Maghi is the common Indian festival of Lohri when bonfires are lit in Hindu homes to greet the birth of sons in the families and alms are distributed. In the morning, people go out for an early-hour dip in nearby tanks.

For Sikhs, Maghi means primarily the festival at Muktsar, a district town of the Punjab, in commemoration of the heroic fight of the Chali Mukte, literally, the Forty Liberated Ones, who laid down their lives warding off an attack by an imperial army marching in pursuit of Guru Gobind Singh.

The action took place near a pool of water, Khidrane di Dhab, on 29 December 1705. The bodies were cremated the following day, the first of Magh (hence the name of the festival), which now falls usually on the 13th of January. Following the custom of the Sikhs to observe their anniversaries of happy and tragic events alike, Maghi is celebrated with end-to-end recital of the Guru Granth Sahib and religious divans in almost all gurdwaras.
The largest assembly, however, takes place at Muktsar in the form of a big fair during which pilgrims take a dip in the sacred sarovar and visit several shrines connected with the historic battle. A mahala or big march of pilgrims from the main shrine to gurdwara Tibbi Sahib, sacred to Guru Gobind Singh, marks the conclusion of the three-day celebration. Sikhs visit gurdwaras and listen to kirtan on this day to commemorate the martyrdom of the Forty Immortals.


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