A four-day-long harvest festival, Pongal is all about thanksgiving! Observed across the state of Tamil Nadu for ages, this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and lavish feasts.
Signalling the end of winters and the onset of spring, Pongal holds the promise of new beginnings. This year, Pongal celebrations will begin from January 15 and go on till January 18.
Day 1: Bhogi Pongal
On the first day, Indra, the Hindu Deity of rain, is worshipped. A huge bonfire made of cow dung cakes and dry woods is lit, and folk songs in praise of the rich harvest are sung.
Day 2: Surya Pongal
On this day, women make traditional rangolis called Kolam in the premises of their homes. Later, the sweet dish ‘Pongal’, made of rice and milk, is prepared and offered to the Sun God.
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Day 3: Mattu Pongal
On the third day, cattle are worshipped and thanked for their importance in farming. The cattle are elaborately decorated with bells, garlands, sheaves of corn. Later, a dish prepared with rice, mung lentils, cardamoms, dry fruits and clarified butter, called Sakkarai Pongal, is fed to the animals.
Day 4: Kaanum Pongal
On the last and final day of Pongal, women perform special religious rituals for the prosperity and well-being of their brothers. Ritual articles are gathered for worship and then lamps of clarified butter are waved before the brothers.
So, begin the new season with positivity and celebrate this festival of thanksgiving with your loved ones. Here’s wishing you a Happy Pongal!