Bonfires at dawn, colourful rangolis on the doorsteps, multicoloured kites in the sky, tantalizing aroma of jaggery and ghee, empty streets, and homes filled with returning natives. Call it Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Maghi, Bihu, Uttarayan, or Pongal – the harvest festival is here. One of the most ancient festivals of India, it is a time to worship nature’s bounty.
Sankranti – The Health Connection
As always, we Genome Mappers look for the health connection. Sankranti celebrated traditionally or with some minor tweaks offers many opportunities to get healthy:
Cleanup & Get Organized
For many people, it is time to clean up and get organized – throw away the old before bringing in the new. Ritualistic cleaning of the households means good riddance to pests. A fresh coat of paint at homes and doorsteps can bring in cheer. Swachch Bharath begins at home.
The Sun God is one of the most worshipped deities during this time. Exposure to sunlight early in the morning can help your body absorb the much needed Vitamin D. Surya Namaskars in the morning can also keep you fit.
Pongal, the delicious concoction made with brown rice and split green gram is the flavor of the festival. Savoury or sweet, this is an all-time favorite of many. Additives like pepper and jaggery improve the health benefits. Modern versions made of oats and buckwheat also taste great.
Jaggery & Sesame Seeds
Most delicacies during this festive season are made using jaggery, which is often ranked as a healthier substitute to white sugar. Sesame seeds, which are rich sources of healthy fats, Vitamin B and many essential minerals are part of traditional dishes this season.
It’s one big holiday where many people go home and spend time with their family and friends. A time to de-stress.
There are many other interesting sports and competitions to choose from. Be it kite flying or cross-country races, it is time to be active. Of course, practicing for the events can also be fun and helpful.
For children, Sankranti is a time to chew on pieces of sugarcane stalk – use the teeth to unpeel and bite off chunks. While many baulk at it, this is supposed to clean up the teeth.
Mapmygenome recommends that you enjoy this harvest season to de-stress and enjoy the health benefits offered. If you want to try something new, we would recommend Genomepatri, your healthy lifeline. Get started on a journey to know yourself and build healthy habits. Team Mapmygenome wishes you a Happy & Healthy Sankranti!