Photographer's Note

Bhang (Punjabi: ਭੰਗ, بھنگ, /pə̀ŋg/, Bengali: ভাং, /bɦaŋ/) is preparation from the leaves and flowers (buds) of the female cannabis plant, consumed in the Indian subcontinent. It is consumed either as a beverage or smoked.

The traditional harvest and preparation of bhang occurs during the celebrations of Holi in March and Vaisakhi in April, hence associated with Lord Shiva. It has now become synonymous with Holi, to the point where consuming bhang at that time is standard practice.

Resin (sometimes crystalline) is culled from the leaves and buds of cannabis. The psychotropic bhang helps to escalate the spirit of Holi, a festival which does not impose any restrictions. Thandai, pakoras and vadas, cultural delicacies all having bhang as an essential ingredient, are savored by everyone on that day.

Bhang Ki Thandai (Hindi) is a drink popular in many parts of India which is made by mixing bhang with thandai, a cold beverage prepared with almonds, spices, milk and sugar. Consumption of Bhang and psychotropic substances has been forbidden by certain Hindu religious sects such as the Shikshapatri, and is also forbidden in orthodox Islam, though not in all sects.

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Additional Photos by Benjamin Voborsky (vagabondtravels) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1247 W: 82 N: 1193] (6511)
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