Lohri Festival 2011

Social Significance
Regional Celebrations
The First Lohri
Regional Names
Celebration of Fertility
The 'Maghi' Day
Customs and Traditions
Lohri Song


Regional Names

Lohri is celebrated throughout the country in different forms, having various regional names as a harvest festival. It is called Pongal in the South, Bhugali Bihu in Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh and Sankranti in the central part of the country. Modes of celebrating Lohri are also different, but the message conveyed by the festival, that of setting aside differences and rejoicing by celebrating the end of the harvest season and the chilly winter, is the same. The various regional names of Lohri are:

Uttarayan: Uttarayan, traditionally believed to be the starting point of the sun's northward journey, is celebrated according to the solar calendar on 14th January. When the sun enters the orbit of a rashi from another, it is called sankranti . Uttarayan is celebrated all over Gujarat but the excitement is high at Ahmedabad, Surat, Nadiad and Vadodara.

International Kite Festival: From dawn to dusk, people of all ages fly kites rejoicing in the spirit of the International Kite festival of Gujarat. Falling on 14th January, the sky is enlivened by kites of different colors and hues. Kites soar in the sky, their lines moving as if alive. Crowded rooftops, fun-loving rivalry to outdo each other, and delicious Gujarati feast are the hall-marks of the day.

Pongal: In south, Pongal is a festival when god is praised with a simple faith and sincerity. Old vices are all washed out and all that is good is welcomed in this New year. This festival is of all living things, who look up to the heaven in joy and thankfulness to God for everything that He gives to man specially peace and happiness and the feeling of brotherhood.

Makar Sankranti: Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of Uttarayan, the Sun's northward journey. Makar is called Capricorn in the western astrological calendar. Makar Sankranti falls on 14th of January every year.

Thai Pongal: The Thai Pongal Festival is an occasion to celebrate fulfillment of their vows to Lord Murugan. It is one the biggest festival days after Mahasivarathri for the followers of Lord Shiva.

Bihu / Bohaggiyo Bhishu: Bihu is the most important non-religious festival of the Assamese people. People of this state observe it every year irrespective of their class and caste. It has been observed from time immemorial and has been adjusting itself at different ages taking into consideration the changed situation of a particular age.

Ganga Sagar: Situated on an island in the Sunderbans, Ganga Sagar is a lovely destination where culture and religion mingle in peace. With the mild winter of gangetic West Bengal, the season to continues all year round. Here Ganga sagar mela is held that is one of the largest fair in India.

Hadaga Festival: The Hadaga festival in Maharashtra is to pray for a good monsoon and a good harvest. As Indra is the god of rain, people sing songs to Indra and pray for rain. Pictures of the elephant which is Indra's vehicle are drawn everywhere to invite the God.