Hamirpur (HP): Braving bad weather, Lohri, the festival of the burning of bonfires and the first festival of the near year was celebrated throughout the state of Himachal Pradesh with great enthusiasm and gaiety.
Young people mainly, the boys and girls sang Lohri songs and sought Lohri offerings from the people especially their friends and relatives by visiting their homes Friday night.
This festival marks the beginning New Year which falls on January 13 of each year and is mainly celebrated by Hindus and Sikhs across the country and worldwide.
Lohri marks the end of the winter season and the start of the longer days.
Lohri also known as Lohadi or Lal Loi is a festival that marks the harvest season in Punjab. Lohri falls on January 13 of each year, one day before Makar Sankranti which is another popular Hindu holiday that falls between January 14-15 every year.
On this occasion, lighted fire outside their homes or in open spaces with wood and cow dung cakes and offer sesame seeds, jaggery, gajak, rewdi and peanuts to the lit bonfire while doing Parikrama around it. They also harvest the crops and offer the bhog made using the same to the fire.
On Lohri, people worship the new crop, light a fire outside their homes, express gratitude to the Sun God (Surya Devta) and Fire God (Agni Devta), and wish for good crop production in the upcoming year. They also offer bhog made with the harvested crops, rewadi, groundnut, jaggery, gajak, and peanuts to the Lohri bonfire. Additionally, the Lohri celebrations involve people going around the fire (Parikrama) while singing traditional songs and dancing to the beats of dhol.
Young people of Balashrasm at Sujanpur tira and other such ashrasms across the state celebrated the Lohri with great fervour last night as the new state government had given five hundred rupees to each of them as per the resolution of the Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhoo to help such children.
Tilak Acharaya, the man managing the ashram said the money given by the Chief Minister had been deposited in the accounts of children.
He said the children danced to the tunes of dholaks and nagarahs and also relished sweets and groundnuts.
The HP Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhoo also celebrated the Lohri at Shimla with his family members and the elite of the town Friday night.