Lohadi Festival, a
significant festival of Himachal Pradesh, is celebrated at the end of
the month of Pausha. Offerings are made to fire god and a part of the
offerings is distributed among the participants. One month prior
to this festival, the field workers go from house to house singing
Lohadi songs, which are collectively known as Lohkadiyan. The people
welcome them and give gifts of food grains.
On the night of the festival, one of the boys dressed up as deer prances
while his companions sing Harin or deer songs. It lasts for the whole
night. Outside the house, a bonfire is built, which is fed with jaggery,
sesame, rice, and radishes. A sweet and savory delicacy known as Babru
is also prepared.
The next day is Makar Sankranti, during which the girls sing songs of
blessings known as Rajde. The unique feature of this festival is that
people bathe and eat a meal of khichadi, which is prepared by cooking
rice and pulses together. The married daughters are also invited for
this ritual meal. Some of this khichadi is kept aside for the
forefathers. In some areas, young girls wear garlands made of dry fruits
around their necks.