Name of Festival : Pongal festival
Major Territory of Celebration
Pongal festival is celebrated in Tamil Nadu
Time of celebration (Months)
In the Tamil calendar Mid-January is an important time. Pongal, falls on the 14th or the 15th of January and is the quintessential ‘Tamil Festival’ .
Pongal is celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month ‘Thai’.It is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamils in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in Sri Lanka.Pongal coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India.
The word Pongal which literally means ‘boiling over’ refers to rice cooked in milk and jaggery It is a celebration of spring on the occasion of the ‘ascent’ of the sun to the north.
This festival is celebrated 3 – 4 days in Tamil Nadu.Tamilians say ‘Thai pirandhaal vazhi pirakkum’, and believe that knotty family problems will be solved with the advent of the Tamil month Thai that begins on Pongal day.
Celebration of The festival
First day of Pongal festival is celebrated as Bhogi festival in honor of Lord Indra .Worship is paid to Lord Indra for the abundance of harvest, there by bringing plenty and prosperity to the land. The significance of the bonfire, in which is burnt the agricultural wastes and firewood is to keep warm during the last lap of winte .
Second day of Pongal festival is called “Surya Pongal “ on thia day worship is performed when rice is boiled in milk outdoors in a earthenware pot and is then symbolically offered to the sun-god along with other oblations. On this day all people wear the traditional dress .
Third day of Pongal festival is called “Mattu Pongal “ this day is dedicated to the worship and veneration of cattle (mattu) for plowing the fields. Multi-colored beads, tinkling bells, sheaves of corn and flower garlands are tied around the neck of the cattle and then are worshiped .
Fourth day of Pongal festival is called ” Knau or Kannum Pongal “ During Kaanum Pongal people visit relatives and friends to enjoy the festive season .They also chew sugar cane and decorate their houses with kolam. This day is a day to thank relatives and friends for their support in the harvest.
Ffifth day of Pongal festival is called ‘Kanya Pongal’ It is that time when married women visit their parents home and the brothers give presents to their sisters.
Bhogi pongal is the day for spring cleaning. All old and unwanted things are thrown away or burnt.At that time boys beat little drums known as ‘ Bhogi Kottu’ which are specially made for the occasion with buffalo hide.Pongal is prepared in two big earthen pots called ‘Pongal Panai’ and it is offered to a special miniature Ganesh made of cow-dung. Ganesh is decorated with arugampal, thumbai flowers and avarama flowers.