Every year the students look forward to celebrating the traditional festival of Lohri. We love our charred sugar cane sticks, popcorn and chai!
On Lohri, people in India, especially in the northern Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and parts of Himachal Pradesh, come out of their homes and celebrate the harvesting of the Rabi (winter) crops. Traditionally, in the morning on Lohri day, children go from door to door singing and demanding Lohri ‘loot’ in the form of money and eatables like til (sesame) seeds, peanuts, jaggery, or sweets. They sing in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi avatar of Robin Hood who robbed the rich to help the poor.
In the evening, with the setting of the sun, huge bonfires are lit in the harvested fields and in the front yards of houses and people gather around the rising flames, circle around the bonfire and throw puffed rice, popcorn and other munchies into the fire, shouting “Aadar aye dilather jaye” (May honor come and poverty vanish!), and sing popular folk songs. This is a sort of prayer to Agni, the fire god, to bless the land with abundance and prosperity.