The story behind Lohri celebration

1 min

The festival of Lohri - WittyWinks

Lohri, a festival of bonfire, song and dance, is a popular winter time Punjabi folk festival, celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus of the Punjab. The significance and legends about the Lohri festival are many. It is a festival that marks the end of winter season. It is celebrated on 13 January the night before Maghi (Makar Sakranti).

Who was Dulla Bhatti?

The ancient significance of the festival is both as a winter crop season celebration and a remembrance of the Sun deity. There are many folklores about Lohri and most famous is the legend of Dulla Bhatti, whose real name was Abdullah Bhatti. He was called the Robinhood of Punjab. He lived in Punjab during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar. He was regarded as a hero in Punjab, for rescuing Punjabi girls from being forcibly taken to be sold in slave market of the Middle East. Amongst those he saved were two girls named Sundri & Mundri, who became a theme of Punjabi folklore. That’s why on lohri people sing a folk song that goes;

Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicharaa ho!
Dullah Bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payi ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paata ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chacha gaali desey!
Chache choori kutti; zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sudhaye!
Bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahi far ke lai gaya!
Sipahi ne mari itt!
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey pitt!
Sanu de de Lohri, te jeeve teri jodi!

Dulla Bhatti - The Festival of Lohri - WittyWinks

Bhatti’s was involved in a class war and became a bandit. He used to take from the rich and give to the poor. He also arranged the marriages of poor girls by providing their dowries. Due to all this he was disliked by the Mughal Emperor Akbar who decided to hang him in public , expecting that he would quake with fear, but Bhatti was a brave heart. Shah Hussain, a contemporary Sufi poet sings of his bravery by recording his last words as being “No honorable son of Punjab will ever sell the soil of Punjab.”


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