Happy, Healthy Vishu & Puthandu! 🙂
Today is the beginning of the new year for Tamilians and Keralites. Just a couple of weeks apart from Ugadi, the Kannada new year, there is a very special significance behind why today is celebrated as the first day of the new year, rather than January. Every tradition in India has a deep, rich meaning behind it, aligned to the effects of the seasons and celestial bodies on the human body, mind and soul.
Puthandu or Vishu is celebrated on the first new moon after the Sun crosses the equator on the Spring Equinox and moves towards India. For 21 days after Puthandu, the Northern Hemisphere receives the maximum sunlight in the entire year.
The traditions of India, set down by sages and rulers, all have a set of practices prescribed mainly for health and wellness of the entire society. The festival begins early in the morning, with a ritual cleaning of the house and the body. As a preparation for the heat, the custom of applying oils that cool the body, such as castor oil, were introduced. An oil bath is mandatory today! I hope you had one! It really cools you down. 🙂
At the peak of the Spring season, there are a few important trees that burst into bloom and bear fruit. Notably among these as are the neem tree and the mango tree. Also, this is the time when a fresh season of sugarcane crop is harvested.
To ensure that these trees and crops are protected through the ages, the custom of preparing and eating Maanga Pacchadi, was introduced. Maanga Pacchadi is the trademark Puthandu dish. Cleverly, a special significance was attached to it, as a story to aid people to remember the custom. The word rasa means two things: taste and emotion. Maanga Pacchadi is a preparation of the six rasas. It is made from:
- Neem buds or flowers for bitterness, signifying Sadness
- Jaggery and ripe banana for sweetness, signifying Happiness
- Green chili or pepper for the hot taste (I cant say hotness, now, can I? Hehe), signifying Anger
- Salt for saltiness, signifying Fear
- Tamarind for sourness, signifying Disgust
- Raw, unripe mango for its tang, signifying Surprise
Eating Maanga Pacchadi, therefore, symbolizes the fact that whatever different kinds of situations you face in life, you take a resolution to face all of them with equanimity, react to them with the same, calm and composed state of mind, and not let the situation affect you.
What a wonderful custom! In one shot, it ensures the protection of species of trees and plants that are very important to the survival of our race, and transforms that custom into a beautiful mental exercise that helps you evolve into a better human being!
Happy Puthandu and Vishu once again, to you and your family. May the traditions and customs you follow during this festival, along with the power of the festival bless you and your family with good health, long life, enough wealth, peace, wisdom and fame. 🙂
Here are our hand picked Puthandu recipes. They are absolutely delicious (we guarantee it!), without any oil, sugar, wheat, white rice, or dairy! Keeping with our traditions of health, these recipes have the power to prevent and reverse the leading killer diseases today – heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
On the First Sunday of Next Month, we have a Healing With Food workshop, where we teach you in depth about how to prevent and reverse diabetes, hypertension and heart disease through ancient Indian cooking secrets, based on a Whole Food Plant Based diet. Check it out here:
Hope you enjoy these Whole Food Plant Based Ugadi Recipes! 🙂