Lohadi

  1. When is it celebrated?
  2. How the festival got its name?
  3. How is it celebrated?
  4. How are processions take out?

Lake City has various cultural and religious traditions enriched by different communities. After coming to Udaipur, the Sikhs have also contributed to them in their own ways. The celebration of Lohadi, generally a day before Makar Sankranti, is an important event in the Sikh calendar. As harvesting comes closer, the festival heralds the advent of Basant. One becomes more energetic and there is a feeling of joy that leads to celebration.

The name Tilodi, it is said, originally came from ’til’ (Sesame) and ‘gud’ (Jaggery) Later on, it became Lohadi.

According to a Punjabi folk tale, there lived a famous dacoit Dulle Bhatti who used to rob travelers. However, at the same time, he helped a lot in the marriage of girls. No wonder, his name is mentioned in the songs that boys and girls sing near the Lohadi fire.

On this occasion, as on Holi, in different parts of the city, wood and cow dung are heaped together and lit up in the evening. Several rituals are performed with great reverence. It is a special day for new-born children who sit in the lap of their mother and members of the family bless them and give them gifts. For newly-wed couples also, Lohadi is a special occasion. Dressed gorgeously, they worship the Lohadi fire and seek the blessings of their family and elders. The parents of the girls send clothes, sweets etc. to her parents-in-law. There is a lot of singing and dancing around the fire. ‘Prasad’ in the form of ‘mungfali’, ‘gajak’, ‘rewadi’ etc. is distributed.

It is said that this is done for the good health of children and to save them from evil eye. It is believed that this also atones the wrong done by Daksha Prajapati that resulted in self-immolation by Sati. According to a legend, the festival is celebrated to commemorate the killing of demon Lohita by Lord Krishna.

The celebrations begin days in advance when groups of children start visiting Sikh houses in the evening, singing traditional songs. Dressed in attractive clothes, unmarried girls visit homes and ask for Lohadi, singing “Lohadi Do Ji, Lohadi Do, Jiven Tumhari Jodi”. They also play with newly -married ladies and new-born children and ask the parents for Lohadi. They are given some money, roasted maize, ‘rewadis’ etc.

With great enthusiasm is celebrated Lohadi in Gurudwaras in Sikh Colony, Shastri Circle, Hiran Magari etc. Devotees visit them in large numbers and offer prayer. There are Shabad Kirtans for which parties from outside the town are also invited. Also organized are Nagar Kirtan processions that are warmly welcomed by several communities when they wend their way through different areas of the town.

Celebrated with great religious fervor, Lohadi is a highly enjoyable event in Lake City.

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