Pongal: More than a Harvest Festival

Are you among those who search occasions to celebrate with family and friends? Who rejoiced in Navarathri, partied through Diwali and found much merry in Christmas? Well then, it’s time to prepare yourself for Pongal. Haven’t made travel plans to celebrate Pongal yet? Let’s get started!
Pongal is a harvest festival devoted to the Sun God. It is a celebrated for 4 days which according to the Tamil calendar is usually celebrated from 14th January to 17th January every year. Thai Pongal is one of the main festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Union Territory of Puducherry, and in the country of Sri Lanka as well as Tamils all over the world, including those in Malaysia, South Africa, Mauritius, United States, and Singapore.

The Bhogi festival – It is the first day of Pongal

The Bhogi festival is observed to celebrate the existence of Lord Indra, who is the lord of rain. On this day, bonfire is made from wood, unused items of the home, and cow dung cakes are burnt.

Thai Pongal – It is the second day of Pongal

On this day of Pongal, according to the traditions milk and rice are boiled together in an earthen pot and then it is offered to the Sun by tying a turmeric plant to it. Kolam (Rangoli designed using wheat flour) at the entrance of the home are also made on this day.

The day reflects the start of the sun’s six-month-long journey northwards (the Uttaraayanam). This also corresponds to the Indic solstice when the sun apparently enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac Capricorn or Makara. Thai Pongal is primarily celebrated to express thanks to the Sun God for a successful harvest.

Mattu Pongal – It is the third day of Pongal

This day of Pongal is devoted to celebrate cows and their holiness. And, Cow is decorated on this day with garlands, bells, clothes and sheaves of corn and is then worshipped.

Kaanum Pongal – It is the fourth day of Pongal

This is the last day of Pongal! On this day, women carry out a special kind of ritual. According to this ritual, the Sweet Pongal leftover are placed on a turmeric leaf in the courtyard.

The Pongal festivities are recognized with juicy sugarcanes and the delicious sweet pongal. But there’s much to a traditional pongal feast beyond the two. From aromatic curries made with native vegetables, crunchy snacks, a typical Pongal lunch is replete with compelling flavours and colours. People also make rangoli from wheat flour, decorate cows and homes on the occasion of this festival. Wish you all celebrate this festival with lot of fun as this is the best festival which brings families closer.

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