Was Thiruvathira only meant to get an ideal husband and to increase the longevity of the marriage or was there more health aspects to it which none told us?
Thiruvathira reminds most of us of only an art form, not a festival or celebration. A festival for ladies that originated at a time when there was no other form of entertainment, it had it’s own dance and involved bathing in ponds/river and eating special cuisine. Thiruvathira is celebrated during the full moon of Dhanu/Margazhi month ( Dec 15th- Jan 15th) which also happens to be the longest full moon night. The moon rays at this time of the year are believed to be beneficial for the pineal glands , hormones and for meditation.
Women folk don’t eat rice on this day and have wheat, millets, fruits and other food. In addition to these, a special dish called puzhukku ( a curry with lentils , all local and seasonal tubers such as yams, sweet potato, koorka, chembu /taro root etc is made. Apart from this, a koova kali (kind of halwa) is made out of arrow-root, jaggery ghee and coconut. In some communities, it is also made out of rice, jaggery , ghee and moong. Remember the winter essential diet?
All these foods are in sync with the season – Winter.
To make it more appealing to the current generation, this can be called as a comprehensive wellness program that increases physical activity in an enjoyable form like dance, swings, swimming/bathing in ponds/rivers, early morning walks to temple and completes your micronutrient profile by including lots of seasonal and local vegetables, includes ghee and jaggery which are essential for winter. These dishes also have the perfect amount of starch/carbs in the form of tubers.
The medicinal flowers (dasapushpam) used are for aroma therapy and the betel leaf chewing increases iron and calcium stores in the body, improves digestive & reproductive health and metabolism, and is also an aphrodisiac .
Why to go and spend money in resorts and spas when such festivals are celebrated which takes seasonal nutritional food, physical activities, spirituality and much more into account?
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