Lohri in Northern India
Lohri is celebrated on January 13 to commence the winter harvest, traditionally associated with the harvest of the Rabi crops (crops planted in autumn and harvested in winter, such as wheat and barley). The people of Punjab and Haryana also celebrate Lohri to signify the end of winter and celebrate the beginning of warm weather.
During the day, children in Punjab go door to door receiving treats and money from neighbors – Lohri mangan and singing Lohri songs. In the evening bonfires are lit as part of the celebration. People throw sesame seeds, popcorn, oil and peanut shells into the fire while making wishes. They sing traditional folk songs and perform Giddha and Bhangra (traditional Punjabi folk dancing) around the fire. The fire symbolizes the sun.
What you need:
- Fire wood
- Fire pit
- Sesame seeds
- Radhian (sweetened balls of sesame seeds)
How it is done:
- Invite relatives and friends to your home for dinner
- Decorate your house with phulkaris, dupattas or saris draping them to create a stylish Punjabi décor
- On a beautifully decorated table, have peanuts, radhian and other traditional Punjabi sweets and savories for your guests to enjoy
- Make sure peanuts and radhian are provided to all guests throughout the party as they are a staple of the Lohri celebration
- When guests arrive, light a bon fire outside
- Provide guests with peanuts shells and sesame seeds to toss into the fire
- Remind your guests to make a wish while they toss items into the fire
- Sing folk songs together and clap and participate during Giddha and Bhangra or dance to your favorite Indian music
- At the end of the party, send a bag full of peanuts and radhian home with each family
Sankranti in Western India
Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14th January. It is also celebrated as Pongal, Lohri, Bhogali Bhu. Sankranti is a day of month when sun moves from one zodiac sign to another.
It is also called as thanksgiving day.
This festival gives us messages that we should gradually begin to nurture transparency, Knowledge and awareness as the sun does this without expecting any return.
It is considered to be the symbol of enlightenment, serenity and opulence followed by a period of ignorance and enormous sorrow.
This is celebrated in every parts of India.
Pongal in South India
This is a harvest festival that is celebrated in Tamil Nadu at the end of the harvest season. It is the only festival that is considered in solar calendar. It is also celebrated on fourteenth of January. This is celebrated especially in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as well.
On this day sweets are made, rangolies(Kolam in Tamil)and various other dishes are made, along with all these people buy new dresses and keep the house clean. They pray to god with all items made along with sugar cane and distribute it to their neighbors. This festival lasts for four days. It marks the starting of Uttarayan( Sun’s journey towards northwards).
On 14th January three different festivals in different zones are celebrated with joy and showing love for each other.