It’s no secret that India goes all in to make sure that any and every festival that occurs in the country should be celebrated with extreme enthusiasm and energy. Additionally, Indian cuisine’s richness is popular worldwide, and the reason why Indian food happens to be so extraordinary is that the land and soil of India are blessed to be so fertile and competent for various crops. So it’s only fair to celebrate the harvest and thank the land to bless us with such cultivating soil! Different regions of India celebrate the festival of harvest in different ways. India is now gearing up for a series of colourful and joyous harvest festivals. Lohri, Makar Sankranti, and Pongal are some of the most widely celebrated festivals across the country and are an opportunity to come together with family and friends to give thanks for the bountiful harvest and to look forward to the year ahead.
Vari varsi khatan gaya si, khatke le aandi Toli, bhangra ta sajda je musical hove saadi Lohri!
Lohri is the one festival that Bollywood does not exaggerate about. When bollywood depicts Lohri in a scene with a huge bonfire surrounded by people dressed in rich traditional clothes, and speakers bursting with groovy beats while everyone does gidda and bhangra, and eats a lot of sweets, they are not overselling the festival because that is actually how India celebrates Lohri!
Amidst the cold breezes of winter, the blessed festival of Lohri brings the much-needed warmth of Love and Light. Lohri at its root is a festival to celebrate the harvest of crops, but, the way its celebrated adds so much beauty to it. The essence of Lohri lies in the simple acts of making til ladoos, dressing up for the occasion and just spending that leisure time with friends and relatives. The love and warmth that this festival ignites in the hearts of the people is a beautiful energy to witness.
Given the fact that Lohri is the festival of Punjab, how can the celebration be ordinary? The whole world is well aware of the extravagantness of Punjabis. The music, the food, and the culture in totality are enough to keep the region and the people charged and how! We mean they don’t just say that ‘Punjabian di battery chovi ghante charge rehendi aye’ for no reason.
The history behind the festival
What happens to be one of the most widely used crops in India. It is the winter crop of Punjab that gets sown in October and reaches its prime towards the mid of January. And that is why in order to pay respects to the land and the crop Punjab celebrates the festival of Lohri. There is very famous folklore that explains the history of Lohri, based on the legend of Dulla Bhatti. He was known to loot the wealthy people of Punjab and distribute the loot amongst the poor and needy people. As the tale goes, Dulla Bhatti once saved a girl from getting kidnapped and later took care of her as a daughter. When she was getting married, he himself performed the rituals instead of the priest. He was loved and respected by the common people of the village, as they made songs in his honour, one such song happens to be known as ‘Sunder Mundriye’ and this song is sung at Lohri every year.
As we mentioned earlier Punjabi music is a VIBE! People all around the world, following different cultures, enjoy Punjabi music just for its upbeatness. Let’s have a look at songs that can enhance the vibe of your Lohri celebrations this year:
- Gud naal ishq mitha
- Punjabi Tappe
- Gidha Lohri Da
- Aaunde Saal Lohri Vand Layi
- Kake Di Lohri Nee
- Bari Barsin
- Sundar Mundriye
Makar Sankranti happens to be one of the oldest festivals in India and is widely celebrated amongst all the different cultures across the country. People residing in various parts of the nation like Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, West Bengal, Punja, and Kerala, believe in celebrating this harvest festival with bonfires, music, parties, dances and most importantly with kites. Makar is in reference to the zodiac sign Capricorn, the sun arrives in this zodiac sign during this period. That means in this period Sun visits Shani devta who is the owner of the constellation Makar. Although Shani happens to be the foster child of Surya, tales claim that Shani and Surya do not get along and that is why this day has become significant.
According to mythology, this festival is significant as it marks the end of a bad phase and the beginning of a good phase. Additionally, it marks Uttarayana, which means the day of the Devtas. Another tale that is significant to Makar Sankranti is the tale of Maharaja Bhagiratha, known as the saviour of his ancestors. He performed a vigorous Tapasya in order to bring down Gangaji on the earth, this was for the redemption of 60,000 sons of Maharaj Sagar, who were burnt to ashes at the Kapil Muni Ashram, which is now called, Ganga Sagar. On this particular day, Bhagirath completed the Tarpan and freed his ancestors from the curse with the help of Gangajal. And that is why Makar Sankranti marks the start of good luck and fortune for all endeavours.
Pongal is the harvest festival that is widely celebrated amongst Tamilians. It is a celebration of gratitude for the Sun, Mother nature and various domestic and farm animals that help with the agricultural activities and because of whom the people were blessed with a bountiful harvest. Pongal also is the beginning of the Tamil calendar month Thai, which is considered to be a very auspicious month.
This festival is celebrated over a period of four days celebrated over four days and usually starts from the 14th to the 16th of January.
Bhogi Pongal marks the first day of the festival. People spend their day cleaning their houses, by discarding unwanted and old things, this symbolises new beginnings. People on this day wear new clothes and decorate their houses to enhance the spirit of Bhogi Pongal.
Surya Pongal is the second day and is considered to be the most important out of all four days. People offer their prayers to Surya Devta on this day. People decorate their door foot by making colourful designs called Kolam. Additionally, every house cooks rice and milk at the decided auspicious time, and when the milk starts to boil, all the members in the house shout ‘Pogalo Pongal’. The Pongal is first offered and served to Surya Devta and later to others.
Maatu Pongal is observed as the third day of festivity. This day is celebrated in order to pay gratitude to the Maatu, that is to the cattle, as they plough the land which results in a good harvest. Cows are bathed and dressed in colourful beads along with garlands and bells. Even in Singapore, Indian farmers there offer thanksgiving prayers to the cows.
The fourth day is all about strengthening relations and friendships and is called Kaanum Pongal. On this day families gather around and enjoy an evening filled with traditional activities, music and sumptuous food. The younger members of the family seek blessings from the older members of their families. Traditional and folk dance forms like Mayilattam and Kolattam are performed on this day.
- Adi Raakkaayee
- Thai Piranthaal Vazhi Pira
- Manapparai Maadukatti
- Kadavul Ennum
- Summa Kedandha
- Yer Munaikku
- Nalla Nalla Nilam
- T.M. Soundararajan
We understand that music is an essential part of these celebrations. That’s why we’ve put together a playlist of traditional and popular songs to help you get into the festive spirit. Whether you’re dancing around the bonfire at Lohri, flying kites at Makar Sankranti, or indulging in a delicious feast on Pongal, these songs will add to the energy and excitement of the occasion. The celebrations of these festivals are not just limited to the bonfires or the poojas or kite flying but are also about the togetherness of families and friends. So if you are hosting these ‘get-togethers’ at your place, you should consider making musical arrangements in order to play the above playlist. Don’t worry we have got you covered with a series of Carvaan, so whether you are looking for a device that caters to your Punjabi playlist, we have Carvaan Premium Punjabi for that, or to listen to some beautiful melodies post having your Pongal, we have a Carvaan Premium Tamil. Both these devices come pre-loaded with 5000 evergreen songs in the respective languages along with a classy look.
So make sure that this Harvest Festive Season you add the pinch of a symphony to your traditions and togetherness!
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