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Pongal (Harvest Festival)

Pongal (Harvest Festival)

What is Pongal Festival?

One of the most popular festivals in India is Pongal and is celebrated widely by the Tamil community across the globe. As per the Tamil solar calendar, Pongal is celebrated in Thai month. It is a four-day event that is dedicated to the Sun God.

How it is celebrated?

Pongal festival is a four-day celebration affair. Each day is marked by different festivities- The first day is called the Bhogi festival; the Second day is called Thai Pongal; the Third day is called Mattu Pongal; the Fourth day is called Kaanum Pongal.


On the 1st day… Bogi :

The first day of Pongal is typically when houses are cleaned out and old belongings are discarded to mark a fresh start. Not only are houses decorated, but new clothes are also worn to celebrate a new chapter.


The 2nd day…Pongal / UlavarThirunaal / Thai Pongal

The second day of Pongal is when the community honours the Sun God (Surya) on the very first day of the Tamil Month Thai. Typically, households will decorate the main entrance into the home with specially coloured kolam (a decorative art made with rice powder), and will typically cook rice with milk in an earthenware pot , letting it boil over to symbolise the “bubbling over” of prosperity. The family will shout “Pongalo, Pongal” as the pot bubbles over, and this is followed by a meal with specially prepared dishes. The cooked Pongal from the pot is also offered to the Sun God.


Cooking method and ingredients…

We can find two kinds of cooked Pongal: Sakkarai Pongal (sweet) and Venn Pongal (savoury); the latter is usually served for breakfast. And while there are many ways to cook a pot of Pongal, common ingredients include rice and raisins, ghee, milk, cardamom and cashews.


Day 3: Mattu Pongal

The third day of Pongal is devoted towards cattle, to honour the hard work they do for farmers. In India, cows are bathed and dressed up with beards, flowers, bells, and more. Manjuvirattu / Yeruthaluvuthal will be the main and the favourite event for all Tamil people to prove their power and physical strength.


Day 4: Kaanum Pongal

The fourth day of Pongal is dedicated to strengthening familial and community ties. The elders of the family give their blessings to the younger folk, and most families typically gather for a meal together. Traditional folk dances such as the mayilattam (peacock dance), kolattam (stick dance) or the poi kaal kuthiraiattam (horse dance) will be performed to express their happiness..

 

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