Monday, January 13, 2014

Lohri Traditions

Lohri is very special to me. Every year. This year, its time to document some of the lesser known traditions of Lohri.

ਬਈ ਖਿਚੜੀ / बई खिचड़ी
 At night, the family makes chana dal khichdi. Please make sure that you add jeera, heeng and saunf to the khichdi. The khichdi is kept overnight. In the morning, the family is supposed to sit together and have khichdi together at breakfast. This Bai Khichdi (stale khichdi) is the last reminder of the year gone by. With the Bai khichdi, we bid goodbye to all the anger, resentment and disappointments of the previous year. We let go of the attachments and the things that hold us back. The Bai khichdi is saying Bye, to the year gone by.

ਤਿਲ ਮੂਲੀ / तिल मूली
This tradition needs at least 2 members of the family. On Lohri morning, each member of the family gets a small slice of radish in the right hand and a few black sesame seeds in the left. They dip the radish into the sesame seeds, hold it up in their right hand, and ask "Til Mooli Chakhaan?" तिल मूली चखा? (Should I taste this Til Mooli?"
The other member of the family responds to this by saying "चखो जी!" (Please do!)
After this first, the person with the Til Mooli uses the next 4 bites to mention the things that they want to keep/ wish for in the new year. A typical sequence for an older person might go:
Til Mooli chakhan? (Should I taste the Til Mooli)

Maa pyo rakhaan? (Should I have my parents in the coming year?)

Dhan daulat izzat ikhlaq rakhaan? (Should I keep money, respect and love?)

Ghar di such shanti, deh arogyata rakhaan? (Wishing for peace at home and health)

Aye paraune da maan, guruvaan da naam rakhan? (Wishing for respect for all visitors who enter my door and prayer in the coming year)

A student might wish for Vidya da daan (gift of erudition)

A young married person might ask for harmonious relations in his/her married life.

And so on.. its a beautiful tradition - that allows you to be grateful for what you have, and also to make resolutions for the coming year.

I love the way these resolutions are worded. They are not "should I ask for". They are "should I keep" - placing the onus entirely on the efforts of the  individual making the resolution.

One by one, all the members of the family make their resolutions.


Gentle Breeze said...

Brings back happy memories!
Happy Lohri

How do we know said...

Hi GB: Happy Lohri to u too!