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Tamilians Harvest festival of Pongal | 4 Days of Pongal

Pongal is a holiday of Thanksgiving observed all across southern India. The word "Pongal" comes from Tamil literature and means "to boil" in its literal sense.

A dish made with rice called Pongal is also ready for this festival. It celebrates the harvest and is the only holiday that uses the solar calendar. Every year on January 14th, this festival is held. Pongal signifies the beginning of the sun's six-month journey toward the north.

It is said to be exceedingly lucky compared to the sun's Southern travel. Makar Sankranti refers to when the sun reaches the Capricorn zodiac sign (Makar).

Know festival of Pongal

Tamilians Harvest festival of Pongal

History of Pongal | What is Pongal?

Pongal is an ancient festival that dates back to the Sangam Period, between 200 B.C. and 300 A.D. The Sanskrit Puranas refer to the holiday of Pongal, which was observed throughout the Dravadian era. Some historians link it to the festivities followed throughout the Sangam era. Some historians claim that Thai Niradal was used to celebrate Pongal during the Sangam era.

It is also thought that at this time, single girls fasted and performed devotion to pray for the country's farming development. These young, unmarried girls would fast as well because they thought it would ensure a good crop, a lot of fortunes, and happiness for the nation in the coming year.

Stories from Pongal

Every festival in India has a legend, significance, or myth associated with it. Numerous legends are associated with Pongal, but the two below are the most well-known.

First legend

This story claims that Lord Shiva once instructed his bull, Basava, to descend to the earth and command the populace to take a bath each day, receive an oil massage once a month, and refrain from eating. Basava mistakenly suggested that everyone take an oil bath once per day and eat every single day.

Basava was exiled to the earth all the time by Lord Shiva because of his extreme fury. He would have to assist the populace here on earth in increasing food production to aid them. May be the cause of the ongoing relationship with cattle.

Second legend

The characters in this myth are Lord Krishna and Lord Indra. Legend has it that as a young child, Lord Krishna decided to discipline Lord Indra, who had grown haughty since becoming the ruler of all gods. When he commanded all the cow herders to stop adoring Lord Indra, Lord Krishna enraged God.

Then he launched his clouds of destruction, bringing forth storms and floods. Then Lord Krishna raised Mount Govardhan, offering protection to all creatures and revealing Lord Indra's divinity. After having his false pride crushed, Lord Indra apologised to Lord Krishna.

How do people celebrate Pongal?

Pongal celebration

This festival is a promising day in Hindu mythology and astrology because it commemorates the day God awakens after a six-month long night. The Tamil month of Thai begins on the initial day of the Pongal celebration. This event, which lasts for four days, is comparable to the American holiday of Thanksgiving. Each of the four days has a distinct and significant meaning.

Bhogi Pongal

The day before Pongal is known as Bhogi Pongal. People tidy their homes and get rid of unnecessary items on this day. People paint their houses and furnish them. People burn their old belongings outside their homes on a bonfire. Individuals like to concentrate on the new and get rid of the old. Old clothes and other items are also burned. People enjoy purchasing new boats, etc. It represents letting go of the past and embracing the Thai new month.

Thai Pongal

Today is the opening day of the new Tamil month in Thai. To mark the occasion, people prepare "Pongal," a delicious dish composed of rice, jaggery, and several other ingredients, including milk, cashews, raisins, etc. Every member of the family loves this dish since it is so wonderful. People paint lovely Kolams to adorn their homes' courtyards (Rangolis). Red clay is helpful in framing designs. It is a mixture of rice flour. Additionally, people worship Surya, the Sun God.

Mattu Pongal

The third day is for the cattle, which provides farmers with assistance in various ways. Cattle are what the Tamil word "Mattu" implies. On this day, you can pray for cows, bulls, and other agricultural animals as a form of gratitude. The importance of these creatures to a farmer's life cannot be overstated. They receive a bath and are draped in floral garlands.

These creatures are dressed in colourful bells and beads around their necks and serve as "Pongal." People paint their foreheads with vermillion tikkas. On this day, various regions of Tamil Nadu celebrate Jallikattu, a celebration honouring the bull.

Kaanum Pongal

The Pongal festival's final day is today. People get together with their loved ones and rejoice on this day by thronging the beaches to have fun. Some people visit theme parks or go on picnics to unwind and have pleasure. People enjoy themselves while exchanging gifts. They watch traditional dance events that feature songs and music. On this day, you can prepare several kinds of rice for the benefit of the birds.

Pongal Customs

Pongal ceremonies must include sugarcane. During the Pongal festival, sales of long, delicious sugar canes increase yearly. On this day, folks acquire new clothing. The saucepan used to create the sweet dish "Pongal" is exquisitely adorned. The pot is full of pieces of ginger and turmeric.

It is customary to let the milk boil and overflow when making the dish. People yell "Pongalo Pongal" in unison when the milk boils and bubbles out of the container. People also think the start of a new Thai month will bring them happiness and new possibilities. It will fix the family's issues.

For Tamilians, Pongal is one of the most anticipated holidays. Despite being an ancient event, Pongal is still enthusiastically observed today. Apart from the rural, Tamilians who live in contemporary cities also rejoice during this time. Even though the holiday is quite old, there are no outside effects on today's rites and festivities.