Facts about Pongal Festival

Facts about Pongal Festival

Yeah!!! Holiday begins!!! It’s time to celebrate our Pongal

Updated on January 12, 2022 19:00 PM by Anna P

India is a land of diverse cultures. In India, there are various Hindu festivals, temple festivals, as well as religious community festivals. All these festivals are followed by Indian among various cultures. The celebration method and the variety of food to be eaten may vary from state to state from caste to caste. The diversity of Indian culture is the hallmark of India.

This festival is mostly celebrated in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Puducherry in India. It is also one of the major festivals in Sri Lanka. But in North India, some of us might not know about this festival. If you are one of them, it’s time to know about the Pongal celebrations which are celebrated in Southern India.

Pongal – A time to Start Anew!

Pongal signals a time for a new beginning and also a harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. It was started from the sun’s six-month journey towards the north and that marks the end of cold winter. The sun is worshipped as the life force behind all creation. It is also dedicated to one of the Pancha Boot has that is light (Agni) which is the source of the Sun.

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Four days to be celebrated!!!

Pongal is a four-day celebration in Tamil Nadu which falls in the month of Thai when the crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric, etc… are harvested. The term ‘Pongal’ refers ‘to boil’. Also, this festival is celebrated as the thanksgiving ceremony for the year’s harvest. The four types of Pongal are:

  • Bhogi
  • Surya Pongal
  • Mattu Pongal
  • Kannum Pongal

The first day of the festival – Bhogi

The celebrations of this Pongal festival start with Bhogi/Bogi. This day is dedicated to Lord Indra the deity of rain and clouds. Farmers worship Indra to seek blessings for a good harvest and also to bring wealth, prosperity to them. This day is also called ‘Indian’.

One day before Bhogi people use to clean their households. People used to fire the waste and old items in the house. A woman used to wear new clothes and chant mantras around the holy fire. They used to draw rangoli of colors and flowers in front of their house.

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The second day of the festival – Surya Pongal

The rituals on the second day are very elaborate. It is called Thai Pongal. This is done by women early in the morning after their bath. The household members wear new clothes and they prepare for the rituals. In an earthen pot, rice is boiled that had tied with the turmeric plant. The pot is painted with eye-catchy colors.

Once the rice cooks, it is first offered to the sun god along with bananas, coconuts, and sticks of sugarcane. First given to god, then to cattle, and finally shared all along with the family and friends. As this order of maintenance is of utmost importance.

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The third day of the festival – Mattu Pongal

It’s time to worship the cattle. All the cattle in the house are given a ceremonial bath in the morning. Their horns are cleaned, polished, painted, and decorated with colors with flowers. Lord Shiva had once sent his bull, Basava to the earth with a message for the mortals, asking them to oil massage and bath daily and eat once a month. Thus Basava mistakenly announced that people to eat daily and oil massage once a month.

The fourth day of the festival – Kaanum Pongal

The last day of the Pongal is marked as Kaanum Pongal. In some parts of Tamil Nadu, this Kaanum Pongal is also called Karina. On this day sun god is worshipped thus people offered along with Sarkari Pongal. To symbolize the sweetness and joy in life people used to offer sugarcane. It is also the best time to visit our loved ones and faraway acquaintances. People used to perform Pongal songs and folk dances on the day of Kaanum Pongal.  

I have discussed with you some of the unknown facts of Pongal. Let you know some of them.

  • Pongal is the festival for great antiquity, which was 1000 plus years as the epigraphically evidence found in Puthiyeedu during the Medieval Cholas empire days.
  • As the word, Puthiyeedu refers to the very first harvest of the year.
  • In Andhra and other states, Pongal is called ‘Makara Sankaranthi’.
  • ‘Pongala’ n Kerala.
  • ‘Bihu’ in Bihar.
  • ‘Bhogali Bihu’ in Assam.
  • ‘Uttarayana’ in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
  • ‘Lohri’ in Punjabi.
  • ‘Hadaga’ in Maharashtra.
  • ‘Maghi’ in Punjab and Hariyana.
  • With the advent of Tamil month Thai, the important family functions, weddings will take place after a brief break.
  • Business people start a new business in this auspicious month and the quote ‘Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum’ means with the birth of Thai.

In the year 2022, Pongal starts on the 14th of January and ends on the 17th of January. Hope you all have a happy holiday and wish you a very happy Pongal. Celebrate the days with rituals and make a good wish to start your life. Hope you learned new things about Pongal that I have shared with you above.

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