Pongal is a harvest festival which is celebrated in Tamil Nadu for four days. It is the most popular festival and is mainly celebrated in the southern states of India four days to devote a vote of thanks to nature. It is enjoyed in the month of Thai (January – February) during the season when crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric, etc. are being harvested. Pongal is likely to fall on 15th January 2019 and is the most essential Tamilian festival. This month is meant to be auspicious for wedding ceremonies.
In Tamil Nadu, Makar Sankranti or Sankranthi is known as Pongal. In Gujarat and Rajasthan, Makar Sankranti is known as Uttarayan. In Haryana and Punjab, Makar Sankranti is known as Lohri. Pongal day is celebrated by boiling freshly harvested rice with fresh milk and jaggery in a new clay pot. While boiling the concoction, people let the milk spill over the pot as an auspicious sign of material abundance and prosperity.
Later the concoction of rice, milk, and jaggery, known as Pongal, is topped with brown sugar, Ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. Freshly cooked Pongal is first offered to the Sun God as a gratitude for good harvesting and later served on banana leaves to the people present in the home for the ceremony.
Pongal is one such festival, that is celebrated to thank the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping farmers in getting better-yielding crops. On Pongal day farmers prepare signature items like Pongal, Shakkara Pongal, sugarcane is offered. A special puja is also performed to thank the Sun god. This harvest festival is traditionally celebrated for four continuous days.
The First Day of the festival falls on 15th January is called Bhogi. This is the day when people reject old belongings and welcome new stuff. Farmers burn their old household materials in the fire while chanting “Paraiyana kadiwalum, Pudiyana Pugudulam” that literally means, “Let the old things go away and Let the new things come in”. The lesson inside is that people should change with changing time. New thoughts should be embraced and the old ones should be let go.
The Second Day is the Pongal day and is the main day. Celebrations of the Pongal day mainly involve boiling of rice with clean milk and jaggery in the morning and letting it flow over the vessel, as this tradition gives the name to the Pongal festival. As the rice boils and flows out of the vessel, it is then presented to the Surya God, a symbol of thanksgiving to the sun for providing wealth.
The Third Day of the Pongal celebrations is the Maattu Pongal; to offer thanks to farm animals like cattle because they provide them with milk and help to plow lands.
Kaanum Pongal is the Final Day of the Pongal celebrations and meaning of kaanum is ‘to view’. People are found chewing sugarcane and decorating their houses with kolam during the Pongal period.
Harivara Wishes You Happy Pongal to Everyone!
It’s good to do a Ganapathi Homam on this auspicious day
For Ganapathi Homam Click the Link Below