Sharad Purnima 2021: Why Do Hindus Relish Rice Kheer On This Day?
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If we take a look at the Hindu calendar, unsurprisingly every month is filled with auspicious occasions and festivities. Be it a grand festival like Dussehra or Diwali or mini festivities like Purnima and Amavasya, Indians never compromise on the fun and enthusiasm fueled by a hearty and delicious feast. Every Indian festival comes with an assortment of delicious dishes that have some kind of stories or facts attached to their consumption. Keeping the rest of the festivities for another time, let’s stick to Sharad Purnima today. One of the most significant Purnima in the Hindu calendar, Sharad Purnima is celebrated to mark the first Purnima of the Ashwin month. Hindu mythologists believe that Sharad Purnima is the only day in a year when the moon is radiant in all its sixteen phases. It is also believed that the rays of the moon on Sharad Purnima contain healing properties for the body and the soul. 

Like any other Indian festival, Sharad Purnima also comes with an assortment of scrumptious dishes that are consumed exclusively on this day. One of these dishes is rice kheer that is savoured by Hindus from across the world especially on this day. The kheer is prepared at night and kept in the open to be enriched with the healing properties of the moon. The kheer is then consumed in the morning and also distributed as Prasad. 

On putting on my thinking cap to ponder over this ritual of consuming rice kheer on Sharad Purnima, I came across some interesting reasons. It is scientifically proven that milk leftover for a while helps in the development of lactic acid and leads to the production of good bacteria. This bacteria improves gut health, boosts immunity and reduces inflammation. Additionally, keeping the milk-based Kheer under the rays of the moon enriches the dessert with the healing properties of the moon, making the dish healthier. 

It is quite intriguing to note how simple rituals uphold logical, scientific and religious reasons and values. Follow the recipe below to make a decadent kheer this Sharad Purnima and celebrate the festival in all its glory.