Pongal Harvest Festival
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Pongal Festival



Pongal 2015 Date

When: Thursday, 15th January 2015
Where: Karnataka and Tamil Nadu

In Southern India the end of the harvest is observed as a four-day festival called Pongal which begins on January 14th and last till January 17th every year with the auspicious time to celebrate Pongal being from 7 am to 9 am. The Pongal festival is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in South India and is a thanksgiving for the plentiful harvest received.

The Pongal festival is celebrated with great pomp and show and people clean and decorate their houses with flowers and rangoli (kolam) and buy new clothes. This is when farmers bring newly harvested rice home and feed their cattle a rice dish called Pongal- from where the festival got its name, and is dedicated to Lord Surya.

Pongal festival is also celebrated as Tamil Nadu’s New Year Day. The Pongal festival also happens to coincide with Makar Sankranti that is a harvest festival celebrated in northern and other parts of India. In other regions it is known as Lohri, Bihu, Hadaga, and Poki. The festivities of Pongal also vary to some extent in celebration.


Pongal Rituals

Bhogi Pongal, the first day of the Pongal festival is dedicated to the worship of the rain God Indra. On this day people rise early, clean their homes well and decorate it with Kollam and flowers. They then get dressed in new clothes and offer flowers to the Lord Vinayaka made from cow dung or turmeric and light traditional lamps.

The second day of the festival is called Surya Pongal is devoted to Surya, the Sun God. The special Pongal dish is prepared in all homes. This is essentially a sweet rice dish cooked in milk and is offered to Lord Ganesha and then to cows and then it is distributed as prasad.

The third day Mattu Pongal is a day dedicated to cattle and other animals. The day is marked by the worship of the Goddess Parvati and her son, the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha. This is also the day when cattle- an indispensable part of life in all villages- are bathed and decorated, then paraded through the villages. The procession is followed by cattle races, and in some instances, bullfights which are locally known as 'jallikattu'- bags full of money are tied to the horns of bulls, and young men endeavour to wrestle with the bulls to get the bags off (and keep the change for themselves, of course!)

The fourth and the final day of the Pongal festival which is traditionally known as Kannum Pongal is the day when the families relax, visit each other and have lunch with friends and family. This is considered a very auspicious day when people visit their family and friends and rejoice. On this day there are folk dance performances accompanied by music and song.

Related Links:

  • Pongal Date

  • Pongal History

  • Pongal Rituals

  • Pongal Dance

  • Pongal Recipes

  • Pongal Songs




 
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