Some stories say that Lohri was named after Saint Kabir’s wife Loi. Other stories say that it came from the word 'loh', which is a thick iron sheet tawa used for making chapattis. Lohri festival is connected to the solar year. Lohri is an agriculture festival, and fire is worshipped on this day. It is celebrated to denote the last days of winter. Lohri is associated with harvest of Rabi crops. Normal time to sow sugarcane is January, so it is related to harvest festival. There is saying, a good Lohri sets the tone for the whole year. Some believes that Holika and Lohri were sisters. While Holika died in fire and Lohri survived and lives on.
Lohri is celebrated on the shortest day of the year. It is one of the important festivals on Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu. For Punjabi it is the start of financial New Year. Lohri marks the last day of the Paush month, and beginning of the Magha month. In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana it is celebrated as Bhogi, one day prior to Makara Sankranti.
The first Lohri of a new born child and a newlywed bride are considered very auspicious. Festival is mainly about thanking the god for giving the prosperity. Bonfires are created in front of the house and relatives are called for the occasions. Puffed rice and sweets are thrown into the bonfire. Punjabis perform Punjabi Gidda and Bhangra which is a popular dance forms in Punjab to the beats of the Dhol. As a ritual, young boys and gals ask for lohri which can be in form of cash or sweets. Traditional dinner is arranged by the family members. Prasadham is made from six items. This includes Til, Gazak, Gur, Moongphali, Phuliya and popcorn. Prasadham is distributed to all the family members.