Lohri is a harvest festival. It is very popular specially in the Northern parts of the country. Lohri is celebrated with friends and family and even a bonfire is lit in the evening. It is an Indian way equivalent to thanks giving ceremony. During this festival children go from door to door singing folk songs in praise of Dolha Bhatti. He is a thief in the folklore who helps the poor and fights for them resembling more of the Nottinghamshire Hero Robinhood. The children are offered sweets and candies. These collections are called popularly, Lohri . They are distributed in the evening and also some are given to the bonfire as a tribute to God Agni.
There are many beliefs of the origin of the festival.According to some the origin of the festival dates back to the story of Dulla Bhatti, a Muslim highway robber who is believed to be lived in the reign of Emperor Akbar. He not only saved the poor but also rescued hindu girls being forcibly taken and sold in the middle east slave market. Thai is why during this festival folk songs mentioning the praises of him is sung. Some believe that the name Lohri originated from Loi, the wife of Kabira. Some believe that the word originated from the word Loh meaning steel tawa on which chapattis are baked.
Lohri is the climax of the winter as it is the last day of paush and the first day of Magha. As per the Gregorian calendar it falls around January 12 and 13th when sun starts changing its course. In this festival the sun and the fire are worshipped and is exclusively celebrated in Punjab. Lohri rituals are performed with singing special Lohri songs and enjoying traditional folk dances. A bonfire is built in the evening to worship the God of fire, lord Agni.
A special Prasad is distributed which comprises of til, gur, peanuts, gachchak and popcorn. The festival is celebrated to thank the Sun God and seek his continuous protection. People wear colorful clothes and enjoy the traditional dancing styles as Bhangra and Gidda .For the dinner special traditional items like sarson ks saag and makki ki roti is served. This festival gives a good opportunity to interact with friends and family.