This past Lohri may seem to pass uniformly with its typical grand celebration and zeal like any other year. However, we have found that this January the 15th brought out something very notable within our community: equality.
Lohri is traditionally a holiday used to celebrate the birth of a son in the family (most famously, the first born son by a newly wed couple). This year, it seems more and more families are choosing to celebrate the birth of their daughters than ever before.
We surveyed 89 couples who had kids in the 1990’s and found that, out of the couples who had a Lohri party for their sons, only 7% had any type of Lohricelebration for their daughters. In comparison, we surveyed 72 couples who had children starting in 2010 and found that 24% had some type of Lohri party for their daughters. Most notably, the peak number of girlLohri parties occurred in 2016 and some were even held in banquet halls.
This shows the great progression in women’s equality over the years among the South Asian community. “Lohriis starting to be less about celebrating the birth of the first born son and more about celebrating the birth of the first born child,” said one food vendor that provided catering servicing for many Lohriparties this year.
Lohri celebrates fertility of crops in Punjab and the fertility of newlywed couples so they continue getting larger and more prosperous. Today, we see the minds of the Indian community becoming more fertile: giving birth to new ways of thinking; giving birth to the idea that women are without a doubt equal to men.