April 19: National Garlic Day

garlic-headsThere’ll be no vampires today! April 19 is National Garlic Day!

Most of us will celebrate our garlic today by eating it, but there’s also plenty of health benefits, some real, some that might be real, and some that are just completely off. Personally, though, I find the various religious ideas concerning garlic to be absolutely fascinating.

According to wikipedia, which, as we all know, knows everything :):

  • Bela_Lugosi_as_Dracula,_anonymous_photograph_from_1931,_Universal_StudiosThe well known belief that garlic was white magic, capable of warding off vampires, werewolves, or even demons arose in several central European cultures.
  • In Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism, garlic is believed to increase the desires and distract from more spiritual matters.
  • One Hindu myth speaks of garlic growing from the nectar of the gods, but an Islamic story states that garlic and onions grew in Satan’s footprints as he left the garden of Eden. 

garlic flowerHow’s that for contradictory?

“The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, ‘If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!'”

Numbers 11:4-6

Picture of harvesting garlic from the 15th century

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