Makar Sankranti 2023: Why Do Biharis Eat Dahi Chura On This Day?
Image Credit: Dahi chura is special for Makar Sankranti in Bihari homes.

The festival of Makar Sankranti usually falls on January 14 each year. Associated with the sun god, this Hindu celebration is a symbol of the transition made by the sun from Saggitarius to Capricorn or Makara. The festival, also known as Uttarayana and Sankranti, marks the change in nature when the colder winter months become slightly warmer.

Several rituals and customs are performed in different households for the same reason. One such iconic practice in Bihar is that of eating dahi chura. It is a simple and light combination of chura, or chivda (flattened rice), dahi, or yogurt, and jaggery, aka gur. This gluten-free dish is a popular breakfast meal in the region; and is known to be auspicious for Makar Sankranti.

The Significance Of Eating Dahi Chura

While one may think of dahi chura as a very basic mix, it is very special for Biharis during the festival of Makar Sankranti. Eating it in the morning is believed to attract good luck on this day. The dahi chura, along with sesame ladoos and gajak, plays an important role in the festivities.

That is not all. In certain cultures, dahi chura also symbolises the beginning of human civilization. Legend has it that this easy-to-make dish was one of the first things that humans ate when cooking food was not known. Apart from this, it is also considered to have several health benefits.

Eating dahi chura in the morning is considered healthy as it is high in fibre and provides the body with an instant boost of energy. It also aids the digestive system and prevents stomach-related ailments like constipation. The dahi or curd, present in this mixture is a probiotic element that contains calcium, which makes the bones stronger.

Just like dahi chura is a breakfast item on Makar Sankranti, dinner in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh on this day consists of khichdi. The two dishes are intrinsic to the celebrations of the day.