Pongal is the biggest and most significant festival in Tamil Nadu. It is the four-day long harvest festival and this year it will commence on the 14th of January and continue till the 17th of January. Pongal corresponds with the festivals Makar Sankranti and Uttarayana, when the sun shifts from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere. At this festival, farmers express gratitude to the Sun God and Lord Indra for blessing them with abundant crops. There are so many things related to Pongal such as special food, decorations, rituals and customs. The literal meaning of the Pongal is “boiling over” or “overflow” in Tamil. It is also the name of a delicious sweet dish made with rice boiled in milk and jaggery in Tamil Nadu.
The four-day long festival of Pongal brings happiness, blessings, good health and people closer. On this day people decorate their houses, wear traditional outfits and prepare delicious recipes. The Pongal made on this day has both sweet and salty flavor in it. Apart from the Pongal they also prepare vadas, sweets, a variety of chutneys and payasam.
Significance of Pongal
As we all are aware that India is an agricultural country and most of the festivals are inclined towards nature. Pongal is generally considered as the ‘thanksgiving festival’ as people thank the Sun God and Lord Indra on this day for better crops. This festival has special importance in Hindu mythology and is considered extremely auspicious.
How Pongal is Celebrated?
Since Pongal is a four-day festival, each day has its significance. The first day of Pongal is known as Bhogi Pongal in which the people honour Lord Indra. On this day everyone throws their useless household items in the bonfire made of wood, cakes and cow dung.
The second day of the festival is known as Surya Pongal. On this day, people offer a sweet dish made with rice and milk to the Sun God. People even decorate the entrance of their houses with Kolam. The Kolam is made early in the morning after taking a bath.
The third day of the festival is known as Mattu Pongal in which people worship cows. According to the legend, Lord Shiva sent his bull – Nandi (Basava) to the earth for conveying his message to people that they should take an oil bath daily and eat one time a month. But Nandi got confused and conveyed exactly the opposite message. Lord Shiva got annoyed with Nandi and punished him to live on the earth forever and help people in ploughing fields to produce more food.
The last and the final day of the Pongal is known as Kanum Pongal. On this day, the leftover food is placed on a cleaned turmeric leaf together with betel and sugarcane leaves. Then, the women of the houses perform a ritual for the prosperity of their brothers.
Hope the article mentioned above has familiarized you with all the concepts of Pongal. So, this Pongal, make your day more joyous by purchasing the finest gifts for your loved ones from Indian online shopping websites. Presenting a thoughtful gift is one of the best ways of showing your love.