Bhang, culture of India

Renu Shekhawat By : Renu Shekhawat
Bhang, culture of India

Bhang, culture of India, the bhang has become synonymous with festive. So much so that bhang-based preparations have become an essential ingredient in Indian holidays as important as Holi Festival.

Bhang, culture of India

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The Bhang is a preparation made from leaves and chalices of cannabis plants. It can be smoked, ingested, chewed or prepared in infusions. Its intake causes a slight feeling of euphoria.

Bhang, culture of India, the history of this plant is closely linked to the history of mankind. Over the years, their shoots have been cultivated for medicinal purposes, their stems used to make fibers and their seeds to make food. In India the bhang is associated with Lord Shiva and plays an important role in religious life as a sacred intoxicant.

Bhang, culture of India

The bhang in Hinduism

Bhang, culture of India, the bhang was first used as a toxic product in India around the year 1000 BC. and soon it became an integral part of Hindu culture. In the ancient text “Artharvaveda,” bhang is described as a beneficial herb that “liberates anxiety.” In imitation of Shiva, many sadhus use bhang to propel and attain states of transcendental meditation.

Indian society and the bhang

Bhang, culture of India, in India, there are many popular traditions and superstitions associated with bhang. Who believes that stepping on a sacred leaf of bhang can have negative effects for the person and that dreaming of the sacred plant augurs good omens.

The Indians also firmly believe in its medicinal properties, using it to cure fever, dysentery or heatstroke. Taken in its proper measure energizes the body and clarifies the mind.

Bhang lassi and other variants

Bhang, culture of India, one of the most popular variants in India is the bhang lassi, a drink made from fresh leaves and cannabis seeds and a yogurt milkshake with spices (lassi). Lassi, which can also be prepared with fruit, is a popular remedy against gastroenteritis.

Bhang, culture of India, in areas of tourist predominance such as Jaisalmer, Pushkar or Puri, it is easy to find shops dedicated to the legal sale of bhang. Although if there is an “official” center of bhag-lassi it is Varanasi, the sacred city founded by Lord Shiva. There, in their famous ghats, it is very common to find a large number of men dedicated to the preparation and sale of bhang-lassi.

Bhang, culture of India, another variant, very popular in northern India, is bhang ki thandai, whose essential ingredients are bhang and thandai, a cold drink made with almonds, rose petals, ginger and spices such as garam masala (clove, cinnamon and cardamom), among other ingredients. The bhang, can also be ingested in the form of spicy balls called “golees” or “halva” a dough made with butter and sugar.

Bhang, culture of India

Bang, the official drink of Holi Festival

Bhang, culture of India, the potent intoxicating effect of bhang forms an important part of the Holi celebration, a festival that knows no restrictions. Its consumption is especially rampant in the north of the country, where it is celebrated with a special enthusiasm.

Bhang, culture of India, in Holi, the festival of color, drinks and food is impregnated with bhang: the thandai, the pakoras and the vadas, all hide that secret and sacred ingredient that helps to intensify the festive spirit of Holi.

If you are also traveling in India please read these blogs also Travel to India in August,  Travel Checklist for IndiaCommon Tourist Scams in India, also read our Spanish blog Viaje a India Blog, and Italian Blog Agenzia Viaggio India

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