The New Year brings the time for yielding new crops, and Indians all across the globe celebrate this period as different harvesting festivals. In this blog, we bring you facts about some harvesting festivals of India and the authentic traditional food that’s enjoyed during these festivals!
The harvest festivals of India take place during January. The most popular harvesting festivals are Lohri, Pongal, Makar Sankranti, and Uttarayan. Indians all around celebrate these festivals as the harvesting season brings along joy and happiness. People join in and participate in the festival celebrations that happen in different ways.
What is the significance of harvesting festivals?
The harvesting festivals that Indians celebrate are because of the beginning of a new harvest and also to acknowledge a specific astronomical event. This event is a movement of the Sun to Capricorn, and it is known as Makara, which in other words, means an end to shorter winter days. Indians consider it an auspicious period and pray in the hopes of plenty of harvests.
Let us now dig in to understand the different harvest festivals and how they are celebrated:
Lohri is an important Indian harvest festival originating in Punjab. It marks the beginning of a new season of harvest. It involves dazzling decorations, carnivals and feasts. People celebrate this festival with their friends and family dressed in colorful clothes, singing traditional songs and dancing to the beats of dhol. All of this happens around a bonfire, around which people pray and celebrate while eating delicious food. The bonfire is also a conventional interpretation of killing the cold during the chilly winters, and bringing warmth and good vibes.
This festival also serves hearty feasts where people savor some famous dishes such as Sarso da Saag and Makki di Roti, panjiri, gud ki kheer, gudpapdi, pindi chole, and many more. During this time, most of the sweet dishes are made with ingredients like Sesame Seed White, Sesame Seed Brown, Organic Jaggery Powder, Organic Jaggery Whole, etc. These ingredients help in keeping the body warm as well as add the authentic taste to the food!
The harvesting festival of southern India is known as Pongal. The celebrations go on for four days, and each day has its significance. The meaning of the term Pongal is ‘spilling’. On one of these days, a ritual is performed that involves boiling rice until it starts to spill. It is a form of showing gratitude to nature for its rewards to humankind. As this festival involves beautiful decorations, people deck up their homes by hanging mango leaves at their entrances. During this time, people wear new clothes, deck up and get-together with their loved ones to celebrate this auspicious festival.
Pongal is also famous for some of the most notable delicacies amongst the flavors of South Indian food. These include tasty dishes like Chakkara Pongal, Ven Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal, Paal Payasam, Traditional Sambar, Vada, and many more. Out of these, Paal Payasam is a significant dish of this festival, and it is a type of kheer that you can make with rice and Organic Jaggery Whole. Sakkarai Pongal is one sweet dish, and its spicy variant is the Ven Pongal. All of these come from the traditional recipes of southern India and are famous during the festival of Pongal. The festival is considered extremely propitious and people pray for success and prosperity when they celebrate Pongal!
One of the most notable and fun-filled harvesting festivals that Indians all around the world celebrate is Makar Sankranti. It is a festival mainly in northern India (Uttar Pradesh). According to popular folklore, Makar Sankranti celebrations mark the end of a difficult phase and the inception of a new one. People celebrate it with flying kites, singing, dancing, bonfires, and cooking several dishes.
During Makar Sankranti, people follow a ritual of eating ladoos which are sweets of a ball shape and are made of Sesame Seed White, Sesame Seed Brown, Organic Jaggery Powder, Organic Jaggery Whole, etc. Khichdi is a type of yellow rice that is also very famous during this festival and comprises green veggies and is first offered to the Sun God and then distributed amongst people. Other notable dishes during Makar Sankranti are kheer and peanut chakkis, and gajak.
Uttarayan is a festival in Gujarat during which people celebrate the astronomical event of the Sun’s journey northwards. It further marks the beginning of the summer solstice, and people celebrate it by flying kites in abundance! The arrival of Uttarayan also marks the fact that the Sun is back and so is the harvesting season as Makar Sankranti is about to approach. This festival of kites also boasts several traditional dishes such as chikkis, Rewari, undhiyu – puri, jaggery roti, etc.
It is one of the most-awaited harvest festivals for those celebrating. It’s filled with good times with good people, indulging in delicious food while organising kite-flying competitions.
The New Year is about to start, and so are the harvesting festivals. If you’re also excited about celebrating these festivals with the best authentic foods, then how about you try making them as well? You can make some of these dishes with organic products to balance the natural taste and keep up with health aspects. You can shop for 100% pure organic and natural Dwarka Organic products at Amazon or your nearest Indian grocery store.