Happy Lohri and its significance

lohri.jpgEvery year today, in Punjab Lohri is celebrated. Those, who are from Punjab, this is a special occasion when people light bonfires and dance and make merry. There is also another tradition, where the young kids go around the neighborhood asking for Indian knick-knacks (sweets etc.) by singing this traditional song in Punjabi..

Its celebration of the winter solstice. Instead of celebrating Lohri on the day of the winter solstice, Punjabis celebrate it on the last day of the month during which winter solstice takes place, Paush. People believe the Lohri night is meant to be the longest night of the year and on the day after Lohri, day light is meant to increase. Punjabi farmers also see the day after Lohri as the financial new year.

A brief on the song and its background. (courtesy my friend Rajeev Bhagat).

According to the cultural history of Punjab, Dulla Bhatti, a Rajput tribe during the reign of Akbar was Raja of Pindi Bhattian, was put to death by the Mughal king for revolting against him. The tribal street singers trace the history of the tribe.

Dulla Bhatti, like Robin Hood, robbed the rich and gave to the poor. The people of the area loved and respected him. He once rescued a girl from kidnappers and adopted her as his daughter. His people would remember their hero every year on Lohri. Groups of children moved from door to door, singing the Dulla Bhatti folk-song. Sometimes the words change but the meaning remains same.

Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee viahiyi ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
Zamindaar sidhaye!

bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari eet!
Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi!(Cry or howl!)
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey pit!

Translation

Beautiful girl
Who will think about you
He is dulla bhatti Dulla’s daughter got married
He gave 1 kg sugar
The girl is wearing a red suit
But her shawl is torn
Who will stitch her shawl
The uncle made choori
The landlords looted it
Landlords are beaten up
Lots of innocent boys came
One innocent boy got left behind
The police arrested him!The policeman hit him with a brick
Cry or howl
Give us lohri ..long live your couple
Whether you cry, or bang your head later


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