There are many stories behind why Lohri is celebrated. As with all legends, this is just one of the many versions.
Once upon a time, there was a man named Dulla Bhatti, popularly known as “Robin Hood of Punjab.” He stole from the rich to help the poor.
He also rescued many Hindu Punjabi girls, who were being kidnapped to be sold as slaves. As their Father figure, he arranged their marriage in hopes of a more secure future.
It is said that people donated jaggery and grains for the wedding. Dulla lit huge bonfires along the path to ensure safe passage for the wedding guests.
After his public execution, girls began singing songs and dancing around bonfires, in Dulla's memory. This became an annual Punjabi tradition and was celebrated as Lohri. Many Lohri songs have lyrics expressing gratitude to Dulla Bhatti.
These songs remind us to protect the honor of our sisters and daughters, while punishing those who try to dishonor them.
A Lohri Song About Dulla Bhatti
Sunder mundriye ho!
Tera kaun vicaharaa ho!
Dullah bhatti walla ho!
Dullhe di dhee vyayae ho!
Ser shakkar payee ho!
Kudi da laal pathaka ho!
Kudi da saalu paatta ho!
Salu kaun samete!
Chache choori kutti! zamidara lutti!
bade bhole aaye!
Ek bhola reh gaya!
Sipahee far ke lai gaya!
Sipahee ne mari eet!
Sanoo de de lohri te teri jeeve jodi!
Bhaanvey ro te bhaanvey pit!
(Song Translated in English)
Oh Sunder and munder
Who will think about you
He is Dulla Bhatti
Dulla's daughter got married
He gave 1 kg sugar!
The girl is wearing a red suit!
But her shawl is torn!
Who will stitch her shawl?!
The uncle made choori! The landlords looted it!
Landlords are beaten up then!
Lots of innocent guys came to save
One innocent boy got left behind
The police arrested him!
The policeman hit him with a brick!
Give us lohri... long live your couple!
Whether you cry, or bang your head later!