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  Lohri
 

Lohri is one of the most enjoyable festivals of Punjab, Haryana, and parts of Himachal Pradesh. It always falls on the 13th day of January in the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Sankranti. Like most other festivals of India it is also related to the agriculture. It is not only a festival but also an example of way of life.

 
 

The focus of lohri is on the bonfire. People gather round the bonfires, throw sweets, puffed rice and popcorn into the flames, sing popular songs "Aadar aye dilather jaye"(may honour come and poverty be banished) and exchange greetings and gifts, and distribute Prasad (offerings made to god). The prasad comprises of five main things: till, gazak, gur, moongphali, phuliya and popcorn.Before Lohri the women are very busy. They collect dry twigs and branches to make a huge bonfire on the day of Lohri.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bhangra dance by men begins after the offering to the bonfire which is performed in a ring round the fire. Dancing continues till late night. Traditionally, women do not join Bhangra. They hold a separate bonfire in their courtyard orbiting it with the graceful gidda dance. The traditional dinner with makki ki roti and sarson ka saag is essential.

This is particularly a happy occasion for the couples who celebrate Lohri first time after their marriage and also the first Lohri of the son born in a family.On Lohri day, colourful fairs or melas are held in many of the villages of Punjab, Himachal and Haryana. Women decorate their hands and feet with mehendi.They buy the most colorful bangles and bindis.Everyone is invited to join in the fun and frolic. Nowadays, Lohri brings in an opportunity for people in the community to take a break from their busy life and get together to share each other's feelings. Lohri is an important festival that brings the entire community together.

 

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