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Understanding the Cultural Significance of Basmati Rice

There is a special essence that basmati rice has created over time among the hearts and minds of Indians. Every auspicious occasion in the nation calls for the use of rice for performing holy rituals or for cooking some great celebratory foods. 

The cultural belief of the nation demands us to use unbroken and uncooked rice as offerings to gods or goddesses during ceremonial rituals. And that need is fulfilled mostly by basmati! The akshata, or offering of unbroken rice to God, is said to bring in prosperity, fertility and bounty to the life of the devotees. 

And this belief has continued to be with the Indians for a long time now! Beyond being used in the rituals, basmati has also been used for cooking some mouth-watering dishes, as a tradition to some celebrations, such as Diwali, Eid, etc. 

Let us try to understand the significance of basmati rice so that you can experience its delicious aroma and get closer to the cultural belief of India regarding the use of rice in auspicious occasions. 

Why is Basmati Rice the Indian Legacy?

The word basmati, picked from the Sanskrit word that resembles ‘fragrant’, is widely popular today for its rice aroma. As it consists of some life-sustaining beliefs or qualities, people consider basmati rice to be an important symbol of fertility, prosperity, and auspiciousness. Therefore, Indians consider using basmati in almost all of their religious rituals and rites. 

Not just that, but basmati also brought countless celebratory recipes with it. The popularity of basmati wasn’t overnight, as people held onto its taste and made its fondness be passed on from generation to generation, keeping the dominance of basmati alive. 

How is the Cultural Acceptance of Basmati Rice in Different Indian Festivals?

No religious ceremony in India is complete without the offering of akshata to the supreme almighty. Basmati is better known as the sign of purity, prosperity, and abundance. Almost all festivals have their own cultural beliefs associated with aromatic basmati rice, so let’s get a better insight into those significances for you to cherish your love for this rice variety even more:

1. Diwali

In Diwali, rice is placed over the puja thali, signifying it as the source of growth and energy. The rice, before being offered to the goddess on the occasion of Diwali, is coated with red kumkum, which signifies the acceptance of grains for the puja rituals. Just after you are done with the rituals, you can commence with your Diwali celebrations. And Basmati rice is probably the first ingredient that will be pulled out from the kitchen cabinets for preparing savoury snacks or aromatic sweets. 

2. Ganesh Chaturthi

Rice, also referred to as akshat, which is spread with turmeric and kumkum, will be applied over the idol of Lord Ganesh while doing the puja vidhi for Ganesh Chaturthi. It is said that following this ritual will bring prosperity and happiness, as blessings by Lord Ganesh. Also, when you bring home the idol of Lord Ganesh, you also shower the rice grains spread with kumkum as a welcome gesture. 

3. Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj festival is observed in a very traditional manner all across India. For this event, sisters will first create a seat for all their brothers with the use of rice flour. And once they take their respective places, sisters apply tilak onto their foreheads, which is a mixture of yoghurt, vermillion or rice. It is a sign of honouring brothers and praying for the love between brothers and sisters to grow infinitely. 

4. Chhath Puja

Raw basmati rice is considered a very popular offering that’s made during the Chhath Puja. It is because rice is considered highly auspicious. Beyond that, rice is also used for making a special type of kheer, namely Rasiyaw, which the devotees offer to the diety while performing the Chhath rituals. 

5. Eid

Eid, better known as a flavourful celebration, is quite incomplete without biryani being a part of it! This festival welcomes the food tradition that consists of fragrant spices, delicious meat dishes, and basmati rice biryani as a staple. The elongated and delicate basmati rice grains, paired with rich flavours, are meant to scale the culinary experience by creating a perfect meal fit for the Eid celebration. 

4. Pongal

Pongal, also known as the harvest festival of South India, is celebrated by preparing a special festive dish named ‘Pongal’ itself. It is a very wholesome and comforting dish that is made up of basmati rice, some seasonings, and lentils. The significance of this dish on the occasion is to be grateful for the bountiful harvest. 

Conclusion

When talking about Indian cuisine, basmati rice holds a very special place in the roots of Indian festivals. It has a wide cultural significance in almost all Indian festivals. Basmati brings in cultural richness and a heritage full of flavours that lets you be part of your special festive celebrations with some mouthwatering delicacies, accountable as long-followed traditions in various families. 

India Gate Foods respects the love, belief, and religiousness that Indians have for basmati rice as a part of their festive occasions. To add more flavour to this celebration, we bring you reasonably priced, aromatic, and fine basmati rice. We embrace the legacy of basmati rice in Indian tradition and have pledged to take it forward for eternity!

 

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