India is a place of festivals. All of these festivals are joyfully observed by us Indians. According to the current calendar, there are three seasons per year according to Ayurveda’s six Rutus (seasons), which are explained by grouping every two Rutus together. The ceremonies and delicious foods linked with these celebrations vary slightly depending on the state and local customs observed there. If we state that we practically have a festival every month, it won’t sound inflated. For instance, we celebrate the Ganpati celebration, which is related to Modak in Varsha Rutu (the monsoon), Dussehra, Kojagri Pournima, and Sharad Rutu (the heat of October), during which we have flavoured milk that has been chilled by the moonlight. Then comes Diwali, when we indulge in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes that are fried, baked, and roasted and are all delicious and healthful (beginning of winter). The New Year also ushers in Makar Sankranti and Shishir Rutu (peak of winter). Let us have a look at the Ayurvedic perspective of Makar Sankranti.
Now, one could be wondering why there are so many festivals and other events throughout the year. Our ancestors must have had things to do, right? Others may claim that they just relished every moment of their lives, gathering frequently with family, and occasionally indulging in a variety of delectable delicacies. Wow, what a life! Others would claim that they didn’t have many amusing activities or people to spend time with, thus these were the ways to have fun. Well, these things might be partially true, but our forefathers were fairly wise. Fun times and gatherings make life happier, reduce stress from work and other sources, and bring greater joy than sending virtual wishes to loved ones.
The primary objective of the foods served during festivals is to adjust one’s diet in accordance with the Rutu (season), as the Agni and Dosha levels in the body change with the season and the climate.
The ingredients used to make the specific delicacy are a sign that these ingredients and others with comparable qualities should be consumed during this season and employed in a variety of recipes (Seasonal regimen). These dietary adjustments preserve the body’s Dosha Dhatu equilibrium and shield it against typical seasonal illnesses.
is primarily observed on January 14, when the weather (Shishir Rutu) is bitterly cold and the digestive fire in the body is most stoked. The body and nature both have a strong Vata Dosha influence. The body needs heat and oleation, and its skin and hair appear dull and lifeless.
So now for the special treats: Niger seeds, sesame seeds, dry coconut, and peanuts are used to make chutneys and are also used to make various preparations. Sweets like Til Gul Ladoo or Chikki (a preparation made with sesame seeds, jaggery, and crushed peanuts) and Gulachi poli (a flat wheat bread or Roti stuffed with jaggery, sesame seeds, and crushed peanuts) are also used. Kheer made from dry dates and other dry fruits is another wonderful delight.
This is the time of year when crops like Indian jujube fruits (bor/ber) and vegetables including beans, peas, green grams, carrots, radish, Bajra, and sugarcane are harvested. Women host informal get-togethers at their homes where they exchange these treats and foods as a sign of affection and well-being. People fly kites, which fosters social connection and affection (Sneha). Sneha lessens Vata in the body and negative emotions among people, allowing them to maintain relationships and transmit joy.
Bhogi, which is the day before Makar Sankranti, is when a mixed vegetable dish is made with all of the aforementioned vegetables and is then spiced up with peanut and Niger seeds. Sesame seeds and baked Bajra Roti are offered with this.
All of these foods are Snigdha in character (here, Snigdha refers to the presence of oil content), hot in potency, and difficult to digest, which care for the kindling Agni and keep the Tridoshic balance intact. These meals enhance Pitta (heat) in the body while calming Vata and Kapha. Being Snigdha makes the body glow from the inside out, nourishes it, fortifies the bones, and saves energy for the following year. They also give the skin, nails, bones, joints, and hair lustre, nutrients, and a glow. You can stay active and avoid joint pain issues by maintaining strong bones and joints. You could sum it up by calling it a winter superfood power bundle.
Birla Ayurveda wishes you a very Happy Makar Sankranti! Use the Ayurvedic perspective of Makar Sankranti, natural seasonal foods, and local foods to be active, happy, and healthy. Also, Til Gul Ghya God God Bola, as it is said in Marathi.