In India, there are a lot of cultural festivals. We have heard from start to end that line frequently. The Indian calendar is enriched with numerous festival dates. While we are celebrating one, another is knocking at the door. Such as Pongal arrives just afterward we celebrate Lohri. But Pongal is not celebrated throughout India; it is a south Indian festival. If you are one of them who does not become cognizant about the Pongal festival, then you have to scroll down this carefully.
What is Pongal Festival ?
Pongal is basically a south Indian festival. It stays four – days long in Tamil Nadu. It is observed in dedication to the name of Hindu sun god the Surya and assembled to Makar Sankranti. Another name of it is a harvest festival. In south Indian villages on this season, there is a lot of harvests. Everywhere there are non-stop crops is visible. Pongal is celebrated not only in India but also in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, United States, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Mauritius.
When is Pongal Festival Celebrated ?
Every year at the same time in the Tamil calendar, Thai it is celebrated. This festival starts on moreover January 13 or 14 and lasts four days long. It starts on sun six-month-long journey towards Uttarayana. Hindus figure out the celebrating date as propitious and think this is the beginning of the sun’s pace on the part of the Zodiac Capricorn(Makarem Rashi).
Why Pongal is Celebrated ?
Hindu Mythology is enriched by the significance of this festival. Once Lord Shiva told Basava(Bull) to go on the earth and tell him to ask Human to have an oil massage bath daily. But ironically, Basava told them to eat daily and have an oil massage bath monthly. Basava’s mistake made Lord Shiva angry, and he blasted him to live on the earth permanently and told him to plough there. By doing this, people would get help and able to grow more crops. Therefore people started celebrating this festival with cattle and crops.
History of Pongal Festival
Pongal is a very ancient festival. It refers 2000 years back from now, as early when there was a Chola empire. It is celebrated on the basis of Thai month, and the date is third. It is an important festival near the Hindu family of Tamil Nadu. They pray their respectable sun god Surya and Lord Indra. This festival has also had a mention in a monument in the Viraraghava temple and dedicated to Vishnu.
Preparation of Pongal
Pongal is such kind of festival by which people give thanks to their god for helping them in farms. In the entire festive, they remain fresh and active. People start cleaning their house properly. In-home and street there are lots of art included design and animal, especially cow. They cook various delicious dishes and offer them at first near their devoted god and then enjoy themselves. Sometimes they arrange wastage crops and wood for the bonfire, then sing and dance randomly. This is a day when people welcome new stuff and reject old pertain. Unmarried girls pray during this season for an agricultural prosperity. They do not use oil on their hair throughout the month.
The Four-Day Activities of Pongal
Pongal is a four-day-long festival. Throughout the time they celebrate in different ways. Now I am mentioning their four days activities bellow.
The first day(Bhogi Pongal):
The first day of Pongal is known as Bhogi festival. In honour of Lord Indra, this festival is celebrated, Indra is the god of rain, and also he is the lord of lords. Bhogi Mantalu is known as a ritual also observed on this day. On this day, people abandon old associate and dignify new substances. People gather and arrange a bonfire for burning the ricks of old belonging. For getting a festive look, houses are decorated, cleaned, and painted. Because of the admiration towards cows, people pain the horns of buffaloes and oxen in the village street. They wear new clothes and to make the festival more remarkable. In Andhra, Pradesh Bhogi is also celebrated, and the ceremony is called Bhogi Pallu. Adult people give pocket money to children. Children become happy by getting gifts from elders.
The second day(Surya Pongal):
The second day is considered as the main day of the Pongal festival. People on this day wake up early in the morning then for refreshing themselves, take a bath, and prayer sun god. At the gateway of their house, women draw splendid kolam. They harvested new rice in the previous day, and on this day, they cook it. They cook it in a new sludge pot. Rice is cooked by mixing with milk and jaggery over the fireplace in a bare place. This meal is named after the Pongal ceremony. After make it is offered to the sun god. They mix rice-milk-jaggery altogether and let it until it boil well, and the rice falls. When the Pongal inundate the pot, people start to say “Pongalo Pongal” loudly. Besides the Pongal dish, people also make other delicious dishes and exchange greetings with each other.
The Third day(Mattu Pongal):
The third is known as Mattu Pongal. This day is celebrated to honour animals, especially ox, cow, and buffalo, who has a great contribution to plough their agricultural lands. Villagers, especially farmers, clean their cows and buffaloes, and their horns are greatly painted and polished by the farmers. They knot colourful chaplets, plunking bells, and equipped them with a nice flower garland. Also, they are decorated with vermillion and other pastes. Villagers take them in the central point of the village where every single one comes with their cattle. On this day, bull-fighting is also arranged. There are some other games like pot breaking, tug-of-war and kolam are also arranged to make merriment
The Fourth day(Kaanum Pongal):
The word annum refers ‘to see’ or ‘to visit.’ This is the day when villagers visit their friends and relatives and make merriment to enjoy the feast. To gather strength and mutual bonds, people arrange a social gathering. Farm fresh sugarcanes are cut and consumed during this social greetings. Youngsters pay respect to elders, and elders give blessings towards them. Sometimes elders give pocket money to the visiting children as a token of love.
Through the above discussion, one thing is clear that Pongal is basically a harvest festival. In which month Pongal is celebrated, there are lots of crops everywhere. People offer thanks to their god for giving them much harvest. By offering prayer, making food, gossiping, singing, and decorating their cattle, they observe this festival.