In North India, apart from Makar Sankranti known as Lohri and Maghi Day.It is a very exciting festival that is celebrated with utmost cheerfulness and grandeur. It basically marks the end of the cold winters that are colorless and depressing and welcomes the season of fruitfulness, spring and the New Year. Lohri is also celebrated.It falls on 13th January every year.Most popular in the agricultural belt of India namely, the Punjab, it has spread its wings to neighboring regions such as Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Delhi.Primarily a festival of Punjab, it is a harvest festival.Lohri in Punjab is celebrated by with great fervor and joy heralding the arrival of harvest season.
In the morning of Lohri day, children go from door to door singing and demanding the Lohri loot in the from of money and eatables like til (seasame) seeds,peanuts, jaggery, or sweets like gajak, rewri, etc.They sing in praise of Dulha Bhatti, a Punjabi avtar of Robin Hood who robbed the rich to help the poor, and once helped a miserable village girl by getting her married off as if she was his own sister.The festival is long since associated with the legend of "Dulla Bhatti" a legend about a man who lived in Punjab during the time of King Akbar. He helped the poor people and saved girls from being sold as slaves and arranged their marriages. Most of the traditional songs for Lohri mention him as gratitude for what he did.
Another ritual associated with the festival sees young lads and girls going from home to home and asking for Lohri, which is some form of donation either in cash or sweets. There is a traditional dinner with Makki ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag . Then the Prasad is distributed which comprises of six things: Til , Gazak means dry sweet dish, Gur means jaggery, Moongphali means peanut , Phuliya and popcorn.
The main attraction of Lohri is the huge bonfire which is lit and people gather and sing and dance around it. A number of rituals are performed by people like throwing of sesame seeds, Gur or jaggery, sugarcane sticks, Rewaris, popcorns and several other items into the fire as they dance around it.People dance to the beats of the drum or Dhol and the dance is Bhangra. It is considered to be the most exuberant and exciting dancing style and people wear the most vibrant colours to mark the occasion.