Introduction – Pongal:
There are many festivals celebrated in India. Some of them are Diwali, Pongal, Christmas, Ramzan, New Year, Ram Navami, etc. Pongal is a major festival in South India – Tamilnadu. This festival is celebrated in the month of Mid January. Pongal is the first day of the month of Thai in the Tamil Calendar. This is to show respect and thank the Goddess of grains. Also, Pongal is called Makar Sankranthi in North India. People celebrate this festival for four days.
Bhogi Pongal – the first day:
The first day of Pongal is Bhogi Pongal. People destruct the old and unwanted things from their houses on this day of Bhogi. They welcome new things to their houses. Then, people clean up their houses on this day. They decorate their houses with green leaves and flowers by hanging them in front of their houses as a mark of celebration. Moreover, it is the last day of the month of Margazhi.
Surya Pongal – the second day:
The second day of Pongal is Surya Pongal. This is the day to thank the Sun. First, people get up early in the morning, clean their houses, take oil baths, wear new dresses, and start cooking Pongal. Then, the married women boil rice, jaggery, and milk together in traditional earthen pots outside their houses. The earthen pots are decorated with turmeric plants or flower garlands. Finally, when it begins to simmer, they all shout together, “Pongalo Pongalo”. The sweet is prepared and offered to Sun and God along with Sugarcanes. Then they share the sweet Pongal with their family and friends and eat together.
Mattu Pongal – the third day:
The third day is Mattu Pongal. This day is celebrated to thank the Cow. Cows and oxen are worshipped on this day. The horns are painted in various colors, flower garlands are hung on their necks. People offer the Pongal to the Cow and worship the Cow for helping them in many ways on all days. Some farmers have their own farm with some cows, goats, and chickens. The cow gives them milk and they earn their living by giving this milk to the nearby residents. Hence this day is dedicated to thanking the Cow and the Oxen.
Kanum Pongal – the fourth day:
The fourth day is Kanum Pongal Day. Kanum means a visit. On this day, people visit their friends and relatives, they also visit many places with new dresses and happy moods. In cities, people take varieties of rice and go to the beach in the evening with their family and friends. They enjoy there on the beach, share and eat the food. In villages, people have fun with games like breaking the pot with eyes shut, climb on slippery posts, tame the bull (Jallikattu), and so on. People enjoy and play the Jallikattu Game to show their bravery by taming their bull. Winning does not matter in this game but participation matters a lot.
To conclude, Pongal is a harvest festival. This festival is mainly celebrated to thank the Sun and the Goddess of grains. India is an agricultural country and Cows play an important role in agriculture. Hence this festival is celebrated to thank Sun and Cow. The festival of Pongal is celebrated by eating Sweet Pongal and Sugarcane with family, relatives, and friends. Above all, the four-day festival brings peace, unity, enjoyment, sharing, sacrifice, fun, and a sense of gratitude among people. They exchange their “Happy Pongal” wishes to each other and enjoy the day with excitement.