Pongal
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Pongal

In the state of Tamil Nadu, Pongal is the most important festival and it marks the beginning of the New Year in Tamil calendar. Celebration of this festival runs for four days. This is a harvest festival and of great importance for farmer community. This festival is celebrated to seek blessings of the God and to express gratitude to mother Earth and their cattle. This celebrated with great fervor and grandeur in villages while in cities people celebrate second day only.

Date of Pongal:

Date of Pongal is decided according to the solar calendar so it remains same which is January 13 to January 16. Each of the four days has special significance attached to it.

Pongal Celebrations:

Preparations for the Pongal start before the first day. Kolam, a decorative pattern, made of rice flour, is found in every household there. This is to welcome their deity and the guests. It is drawn on the floor. A five-petaled pumpkin flower is kept at the centre of Kolam; it is the symbol of fertility.

Bhogi- First Day

Bhogi- the first day of pongal is meant for family gathering and performing domestic activities. Celebration of this day is to please Lord Indra, the rain god. On this day waste objects from home are thrown into fire and dance is performed around this bonfire.

Pongal – The second Day:

Pongal is the second and most important day in the whole celebration in Tamil Nadu. Sun is the deity who is worshipped on this day. Family members gather in front of their house and cook Pongal (rice) in clay pots in the morning. When Rice gets overflow, people chant “Pongal o Pongal”. This is to seek blessings for good harvest season. Many dishes and sweets are prepared and people visit each other and dine together.

Maatu Pongal- the third Day

In this festival of Pongal, people greet their cattle also as they very important part of their life. Mattu Pongal is the day of Pongal for cows. On this day farmers express their gratitude to their meek friends. Cattle are washed and decorated on this day.

Kaanum Pongal:

 Kanu Pongal is the day to celebrate pure relationship between brothers and sisters. Sisters pray for the wellbeing and prosperity of their brothers. It is just like Raksha Bandhan or Bhai Dooj celebrated in North India .