What Is Pongal
What Is Ponga: The main celebrations of Pongal are done on 14th of January every year. The day is considered very auspicious by Hindus and they believe that on this day sun starts its journey to the northern pole. It is also said that on this day, sun enters the zodiac Capricorn (Makar Rashi).
Pongal is derived from a Tamil word that means ‘to boil’. The festival is basically a Tamil harvest festival that is dedicated to sun and other harvest gods. On this day, Gods are offered with offerings for their blessings in the form of harvest. The day is generally a holiday in India. Pongal is only celebrated in Tamil Nadu while rest of India celebrates Makar Sankranti on the same day.
From this day onwards, the length of nights start decreasing and that of days start increasing.
The first rice of the harvest is offered to Gods. The festival is a joyous occasion that is celebrated in temples by chanting prayers and offering sugar cane, spices and vegetables to Gods. There are melodious sounds of drums, temples bells, conch shells and clarinets.
Pongal also marks the end of the traditional farming season. The first day of Pongal is celebrated as ‘Bhogi’ on which the old and useless household items are burnt in bonfire. The second day is celebrated as ‘Thai Pongal’ on which first rice of the harvest are boiled in earthen pots and then offered to God. The third day of Pongal is called ‘Maattuppongal’ that is dedicated to cows and other cattle. The fourth day of Pongal is called as the ‘Thiruvalluvar Day’ on which girls perform artis on their brothers.