Wintertime festivals are not over yet! Still, you can get a chance to celebrate many festivals.
So if you want to enjoy a feast with the warmth of a bonfire, delicious protein-based sweets, and green superfood goodness, Makar-Sankranti is the festival for you.
So, today, we are bringing you all to India, where people are prepared for the great winter festival and celebration.
The festival is known as Makar Sankranti and has other names by its states and celebration methods. For example, Poush Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, Lohiri (Punjab), Maghi, Dahi-Chura-Gud (Feast of curd, flattened rice, and Jaggery), Magh Bihu, and Shishur Senkrath are other names of this festival, but you don’t have to worry because of many names.
We would like to share an idea that leads you to how you can celebrate this festival simply at your gorgeous house! But first, we want to introduce you to this festival and its importance. Then, have a look at this article for related information.
Facts about Makar Sankranti Festival
- Every year, on 13-15 January, India celebrates the festival Makar Sankranti.
- This is the occasion that is valued by the Sun transitioning from the zodiac of Sagittarius (Dhanu) to Capricorn (Makara).
- Observed as a new beginning on this day in the Hindu calendar, this festival commemorates the Sun’s migration from the south to the northern hemisphere.
- Makar Sankranti is observed with social festivities such as colorful decorations (colorful rangolis, made from grains), bonfires, rural children going house to house, singing and asking for treats in some areas, melas (fairs), dances, kite flying, and feasts.
Festivals of the harvest and winter-to-spring transformation
Between the 13th and 15th of January, India is celebrating its harvest festivals and winter-to-spring transition.
Makar-Sankranti, Lohri, Pongal, and Magh Bihu have sounded in every house. Throughout India and worldwide Indian people have been observing this festival religiously with cultural and Nutritious food.
This festival connects us to the Solar-system science
This festival is related to the scientism of nature and connects us with the Solar-System where the Sun is in the center of Earth-Life. The ancient people knew this power. Hence their faith was further enhanced by Sun worship. This day is also known as Uttarayan because the Sun’s direction is towards the north for six months.
In other words, Because the weather will move from winter to spring and depart, it is considered a transition period.
How do Celebrate the Makar Sankranti festival in a simple way?
- On 13th January, clean your house.
- Call your family and friends for an evening bonfire party. It is called Lohri.
- Buy some nuts and seeds, and prepare sweet dishes, or you can buy from the market.
- If possible, buy rewdi sweet (sesame brittles), Gajak, popcorn, and peanuts from the nearby Indian Stores.
- Dress up for the evening bonfire festival.
- Offer some sweets to the fire, if you want. In India, people worship fire, because fire is associated with life, and is sacred. So, they offer some sweets to the fire in special worship.
- After that, you can sing, dance and eat near the bonfire.
- 2nd, the day, on 14th January/15 January, take a morning bath.
- On this day, you can invite your family and friends for lunch again if you want.
- Prepare special food for this day.
- You have to prepare green veg curry, mainly cauliflower, green peas, tomato, and potato people use at this day. Learn, how to make curry at https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/aloo-gobi-matar-recipe/
- Other than that, you have to buy flattened rice, curd, jaggery, and sesame sweets. Also, you can make vegetable Khichdi. Check out the recipe at https://hebbarskitchen.com/masala-khichdi-recipe-vegetable-khichdi/
- Decorate your dining table with these traditional foods and enjoy your festival.
- Also, in the evening, you can fly the kite.
Sesame is valued by this festival
Tilkut is a sweet dish, made with sesame and jaggery.
Tilkut also known as tilkutam, gajak, or tilpatti, is a sweet made in the Indian states of Bihar, and Jharkhand.
It is specially made in the winter season with a special method. It is important to eat it on the day of this festival.
Pongal, also known as Pongali or Huggi, is specially prepared in South India. It is an Indian rice dish. The two varieties of Pongal are Chakarai pongal, which is sweet, and Venn pongal, which is savory and made with clarified butter.
South India has a tradition of serving traditional foods in banana leaves. In addition, Pongal is a portion of festival food.
In Makar Sankranti, Khichdi is a traditional dish. People prepare it from basmati rice, gram or moong pulse, fried green peas, cauliflower, and carrot with some spices.
It is digestible and nutritious. Also, you can eat khichdi with limited lemon juice.
Sesame is valued by this festival
Why is Sesame demand growing?
- Researchers believe that vegan populations are growing worldwide because of increasing thoughts about weight management, animal welfare & environmental awareness. It is observed that obesity rates, health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and other concerns grow, and people search for alternatives.
- So, people are looking for protein and another vital source of vegan or plant-based products.
- If you see the nutrition profile of Sesame, it is a fantastic source of protein (rich in methionine and tryptophan ), fiber, monounsaturated fats, vitamins B1 and B2, minerals such as copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and calcium, lignans, and phytic acid.
- The best part of Sesame seeds is that they are low in carbohydrates and cholesterol-free. According to a diet plan, people can consume 1-2 tablespoons of roasted sesame seeds daily, which is hugely beneficial.
- So, many food processing companies are increasing demand for Sesame seeds from Asian countries like India, Myanmar & Sudan. All three’s are the largest producer of Sesame seeds.
- Check out different seeds and nuts, which are a high source of protein at https://journals-times.com/2022/10/07/nuts-and-seeds-that-are-high-in-protein-for-vegetarians/
India has a vast opportunity for vegan products.
The data shows that the global vegan food market is expected to reach $31.4 billion by 2026. North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, LAMEA (Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UAE), and the UK have emerged as the large market in demand in this region.
There are many traditional Indian dishes with Sesame seeds that are relatively healthy. However, India must prepare and sell its conventional consonant according to International Health standards & Packaging.
Besides Sesame, India can lead and promote vegan products to substitute meat and dairy products. According to the Global market trend, weight loss and protein-based plant products will go far, and this trend is opening an opportunity for Indian Farmers & Food processing companies.
Some of them include peanuts, Channa Daal, Flax Seeds, Sprouted Moong & Masoor Beans, and Pumpkin Seeds. Online or offline, their demand remains.
Apart from this, Indian restaurants can serve Indian protein dishes with varied usage. If you talk to people from different countries about Indian cuisine, especially in California, they say, Yes, Indian Foods are so spicy, but some are delicious. They like to eat Idli and Dosa more because of less oil, and the super taste.
So Indian cuisine must work on protein-rich and weight-controlled recipe identity.