January 15, 2016
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Pongal or Thai Pongal which is a four day long Hindu Tamil harvest festival celebrated in the month of Thai (Thai or Tai is a Tamil month of Mid-January to Mid-February season) .
‘Pongal’ is a Tamil words which means “To boil” is celebrated in honor to thanksgiving the nature and Sun God ,for good harvesting crops. It is celebrated by the Tamil people in Southern India , but a major festival for the people of Tamil Naidu and Puducherry.
When It Is Celebrated?
It is celebrated in the months of Thai, which is tenth months of Tamil calendar , according to the Georgian Calendar it’s celebrated from 13th January to 16th January and may sometimes Celebrated from 14th January to 17th January. The festival starts from last day of Maargazhi (Tamil 9th Months) to the third day of Thai.
How It Is Celebrated?
It is a four Day festival
First day which is the last day of months Maargazhi is celebrated as Bhogi Festival. With the honor Indra who is the Supreme ruler of Rain and Cloud. On this day all the useless household is thrown in fire of wood and cow dung cake, and girls dance around that fire and singing songs in praise of the God.
Second Daywhich is the first day of Thai months is celebrated as Thai Pongal in honor of God Sun , in this day early worship is performed with the boiled rice in milk in an earthen pot offered to the Sun God with other oblations. Tamilians wear their traditional cloths and draw Kolam which is known as Rangolia pattern drawn using rice flour.
Third day is celebrated as MaatuPongal or Pongal for Cow in honor to worship Goddess Cow and the cattle is adorned with tinkling bells ,flower garland tied over the neck of the cow and worshipped and Arati is performed to ward off evil eyes.According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. However, mistakenly announced Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plow the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle.
Fourth Day is the last day of the festival is celebrated as Kaanum Pongal ,the words ‘Kaanum’ means “to visit” on this the reunion of the family take place , Gifts were exchanged among family relative and friends .A rituals are performed a large Turmeric leaf is washed and placed in the courtyard and leftover sweet Pongal and food is kept there with betel leaves, betel nuts and sugarcane , Ladies of household carry out this rituals in the name of brother and Aarti is performed for the prosperity of brother.