The Importance of Decorating House With Mango Leaves On Festivals

 - Sakshi Post

For every festival, we all decorate our houses with mango leaves. But do you know why exactly do we use mango leaves for decorating the doors and windows of our homes?

'Torana' meaning gateway in Sanskrit, is a garland-like decorative, made out of mango-tree leaves. It is used to adorn the doors of homes in all major Hindu festivals and auspicious occasions--be it the puja of a deity or even wedding functions.

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The significance of hanging leaves is also mentioned in various Puranas and the Bhagavad Gita - 'At every gate there were burning lamps and big water pots decorated with different coloured cloth, strings of pearls, flower garlands and hanging mango leaves' (Srimad Bhagavatam 4.9.55)

It is common practice for Indians to decorate the main door of the house, temples or areas where rituals are being performed to be decorated with leaves. What many see as just a tradition actually has scientific backing.

The garland is made with fresh green mango leaves because they can absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. This helps in keeping the surrounding atmosphere clean and fresh.

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Theoretically, the air is purified when it is filtered through the leaves. With freshly fallen leaves, they will continue with the photosynthesising process. In fact, because the chloroplasts are separate organelles from the rest of the leaf's cells much like mitochondria, they would be one of the last things in the leaf to stop working. As soon as the leaf dries out, photosynthesis no longer works.

The darker the leaf, the longer time it has to create photosynthesis. At the same time, insects will be attracted to the leaves. So it acts as a very cheap and safe insect repellent.

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Apart from being loaded with antibacterial and antiseptic properties, mango leaves are used as Torans or Bandhanvaar during large religious gatherings and festivities, because of their unique ability to absorb excess carbon dioxide.

You now know why you decorate your home during festivals with leaves. So, you can teach this to your children and siblings at home and show off your knowledge.

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