Lohri is a vibrant festival which marks the end of winter and signifies the harvesting of Rabi crops. People in Northern India eagerly wait for the season as it is the time to make harvesting celebrations with friends and family members. People especially in Punjab and Haryana celebrate this festival with full enthusiasm and energy. Farmers in Punjab evaluate the harvests and consider it as a symbol of renewal of life. Harvesting season also signifies period of plenty, peace and happiness. Celebration of Lohri also highlights importance of fertility in Indian families. Thus, Lohri is celebrated as a big day for all the newly wed and mothers of new born babies.
Punjab is called the breadbasket of India. All major crops are grown here and that's why harvesting season holds special importance for farmers of Punjab and Haryana. They happily bid farewell to the winters and get ready to cut and gather the crop. Rabi crops are the main source of wealth for the farmers and this makes them celebrate the time with full zeal and enthusiasm. Farmers call this period of time as golden harvest season. Thus, farmers show their happiness by perrforming traditional bhangra dance on the beats of dhol. They light bornfires and pray for good harvest in next season as well.
Apart from celebrating the good harvest, there are more reasons which add joy to the festival. Lohri also celebrates fertility in Indian families. The first marriage or birth of the male child in the family calls for celebration at the time of Lohri.
Celebration of fertility relates to the birth of a new born in a family. Thus, Lohri is the time to celebrate the birth by partying altogether. On this day, mother of the new-born is dressed in her best and sits with the baby on her lap. Members and relatives of the family shower their blessings on mother and her child. Gifts and cash is presented to the mother as a token of love. Later, everybody in the family shake their leg around the bonfire. Traditional songs are sung and other rituals are performed.
Lohri celebrates the marriage of couple in any Indian family. It is considered very important to celebrate first Lohri of a bride. It is said she is welcomed so merrily as she is the one who bears children and increase the family. The newly wed bride dress up in new clothes, wear beautiful ornaments and apply henna on her hands. Her husband also wears new clothes. They sit together to receive blessings of elders of the family. The day is completed with dance and singing of traditional folk songs and other songs wishing the newly wed peaceful life.