Indian festivals are very much connected to our psychologies and science of well being. The food of festivals are in accordance with the seasonal changes in nature.
All the festivals are based on some symbolism or expression of gratitude.
The concepts of worship during festivals are something that nourish we humans with the value system. Because Indian philosophy has always been about worshiping the ideals behind the idols.
The festivals are all together an opportunity to bond, share happiness & love.
Makar Sankranti is celebrated in various parts of the Indian subcontinent to observe the day which marks the shift of the sun into the Uttarayana also called as sunner solstice.
It is considered as time for peace & prosperity and the regarded as important for spiritual practices.
This festival propagates bonding where every member of society is asked to bury the hatchet with enemies and foes and live in peace with the advent of spring which marks new beginnings in nature.
Though extremely popular as Makar Sankranti, the festival is predominantly a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout India.
It is termed as Makar Sankranti in West India, down south, the festival is known as Pongal and in the north, it is celebrated as Lohri.
Let us have a look at the food eaten or shared during Makar Sankranti.
In Western India, it is the festival of til-gul where sesame and jaggery laddoos or chikkis are distributed among all.
In northen India,
Gur rewri, peanuts and popcorns are eaten in northen India during lorhi. Besides these, in Punjab villages, it is a tradition to eat gajjak, sarson da saag and makki di roti on the day of Lohri. It is also traditional to eat ’til rice’–sweet rice made with jaggery (gur) and sesame seeds.
Down South celebrated as Pongal, it is the boiling of the first rice of the season dedicated to the Sun – the Surya
Besides rice and milk the ingredients of this sweet dish include Cardamom, raisins and cashwes. Cooking is done in sunlight, usually in a porch or courtyard. The cooking is done in a decorated clay pot is called Kolam. Pongal has two variants, one sweet and one savoury. The dish is served on banana leaves.
All the above delicacies help building the oil moisture back in the body which has been used during the winter season.
The most important ingredient of Makar Sankranti food is Til or sesame.
Sesame is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, healthy oils. It contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc, fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6 and folate. It is also a good source of protein.”
The procedure of making these items is again natural thus adding to the goodness of the food! For example rice being cooked in clay pots help maintaining highest amountof nutrients present.
Let this festival be a beginning of all good things in our lives, let us take a small pause- forgive the ones who hurt us and move on to a better peaceful life.
Have all the wonderful delicacies of Sankranti and enjoy all its wonderful benefits.
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