Come April, the sun moves into the Aries ushering the season of harvest in India. Baisakhi is celebrated in the north, especially in Punjab by the Sikh community. 

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Baisakhi

Farmers thank god for the abundant harvest and pray for future prosperity.

In the East, the Assamese celebrate Bihu, which is all about feasting and visiting friends and relatives. The food prepared includes sweets such as Til Pitha, Handoh (sticky rice powder eaten with milk and jaggery) and Kumal Chawl (sticky rice with curd and jaggery).

Come to West Bengal, and a pooja is conducted at the Kalighat, Kolkata. The lamb dish, Thakur Barir Pathar Mangsho, is offered to goddess Kali. It is rich in cashew nuts among other dry fruits and Bengali spices. As the mutton dish is an offering to the goddess, it is considered a vegetarian bhog. The current year in the Bengali calendar is 1421!

Down south, Vishu, which is the Malayali New Year, also celebrates the fresh harvest produce. Some of the dishes commonly made during Vishu are Olan (a vegetable stew); Kootan curry with lentils; Avial, vegetables in a coconut stew and beaten curds; and Veppampoo Rasam made of neem flowers.