SCFI FestivalsSociety for the Confluence of Festivals in India

Tradition of Thandai

Thandai is embedded with the tradition of Holi. A refreshing and healthful drink thandai is savoured in the midst of the play of colours when people become a little exhausted throwing each other in the pool of coloured waters. A glass of Thandai offers instant energy and sets the mood for playing with color. Besides, when laced with the intoxicating bhang it can make one sing, dance and go wild. Infact, bhang thandai is used as a mood setter for the festival of Holi.

Hub of Thandai

The tradition of thandai is particularly prevalent in North India. Banaras (now Varanasi) is called the hub for thandai. This is so as Banarasis are said to have a passion for milk-based drinks and of all the drinks thandai is said to be their specialty.

Making of Thandai

Thandai is a cooling drink usually made of purified water, sugar, seeds of watermelon and muskmelon, almonds, lotus stem seeds, cashew nut, cardamom, saunf, rose-flower, white pepper, saffron and the very intoxicating bhang.

After Effects

A spoon of bhang in the thandai makes a world of a difference. Bhang is mixed with milk, ice and cream and added to the thandai to produce a kick. While some become deliriously happy others turn as depressed as hell. Caution is needed when taking a bhang thandai as overdose might not be prove to be good.

Drinking thandai in Holi also gels with the weather as in North temperature runs high at that time and thandai is a coolant. Although home-made thandais always tastes better, in Banaras and elsewhere in India, it is now possible to buy commercial concentrates and make instant thandais.

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