Pongal Festivals - Full Info

India is bestowed with the bliss of festivity. A major segment of the population here depends on agriculture. As a result, most of the festivals are also related to the agricultural activities of the people. These festivals are celebrated with different names and rituals in almost all the parts of India. Pongal is one of such highly revered festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu to mark the harvesting of crops by farmers. Held in the middle of January, it is the time when the people get ready to thank God, Earth and their Cattle for the wonderful harvest and celebrate the occasion with joyous festivities and rituals. The four-day Harvest festival is celebrated all over the state in January. The festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya

Pongal on the next day. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adomed with colorful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.

The first day of the festival is called Bhogi. On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from all corners, and collect all unwanted goods. In the evening, people will light bonfires and burn what can be burnt.

The second day of the festival, Surya Pongal, is the day on which the celebrations actually begins, is the first day of the Tamil month Thai. On this day, Surya, the sun God is worshipped and women will wake early on this day to create elaborate kolum on the grounds in front of their doorway or home. Kolums are created with colored rice flour placed on the ground carefully by using one's hand.

The third day is called Maatu Pongal, maatu meaning cattle. This day is devoted to paying homage to cattle. Cows and Bulls are decorated with paint and bells and people pray to them.

The fourth day is termed as Kaanum Pongal. On this day, people travel to see other family members.


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