The festival of Lohri is mainly celebrated in North Indian states like Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu. The festival is mainly seen as an occasion marking the end of the winters and beginning of a new harvest season by Punjabi's. The festival celebrates fertility and new spark of life. For Punjabis it is more than just a festival it is a way of life. The celebrations and gatherings make it a community festival. Lohri involves a Puja Parikrama around the bonfire and distribution of Prasad. This symbolizes a prayer to Agni, the spark of life, for abundant crops and prosperity. The first Lohri of a new born child and a newly wed bride is considered very auspicious.
Lohri is celebrated on the 13th day of January in the month of Paush or Magh, a day before Makar Sankranti. Lohri is an occasion to engage in revelry and make merry. The festival is all about being with closed ones and thanking god for all the prosperity bestowed. Bonfires are lit on the occasion and all family members and invited guests take their turns to move around the Lohri bonfire and throw puffed rice and popcorns into the fire along with other sweets. This is followed by Punjabi Gidda and Bhangra (popular dance forms) to the beats of the Dhol (musical instrument).
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 (unleavened Indian bread made from corn flour) and Sarson ka Saag (mustard leaves curry). Then the Prasad is distributed which comprises of six things: Til (Sesame), Gazak (dry sweet dish), Gur (jaggery), Moongphali (peanut), Phuliya and popcorn.