Tamil Nadu, India
Famous For :
Rice Pudding, Rangoli, Tamil New Year.
Pongal is a festival celebrated in Tamil and on the month of January. The above festival is celebrated in nearby states of Tamil Nadu in a small manner. However, in Tamil and this festival has significant importance and celebrates it in a grand manner. The calculation of the date of this festival is according to the Tamil calendar (solar calendar), so the date of this festival will not have much variation. It falls in between January 13 to January 16. Pongal considered as the harvest festival of Tamil and and celebrate more grandly in village.
The First Day
house and by evening remove all the unwanted things from their house. "At night, they will burn all these unwanted goods to clear the mess. They will paint the front of the home and will clean and wash the walkways. The poor farmers who are living in huts will rebuild the front of their huts and repast the floor and front with cow dunk.
The Second Day
The second day of the Pongal is Thai Pongal and it falls in the first day of the next Tamil month Thai. It is the main day of Pongal festival. On this, day people worship Sun to thank him for giving a good harvest in the last season. Ladies will make elaborate kolam (an art in front of the house) to please the gods. People will wear new dress on this day to celebrate the Pongal. The world meaning of Pongal is overflowing of food/milk in the kitchen. On this day, they will cook the new rice with milk in pots until"it overflows over the pot. This overflowing of rice over the pot is a joyous occasion. While the rice is overflowing, the children and adults will shout out 'Pongal-o Pongal!' "It is this overflowing which means Pongal. Kids will dance and make music to the tune of these words. The words in the song have an expression of happiness about the Harvest.
The Third Day
The third day is Mattu Pongal (cattle Pongal) which means the Pongal for cattle. On this day the decorated the cattle with flowers and give them very good food. The Mattu Pongal is there to give attention and respect to the cattle, which was the main part of farming. This gives awareness to the illiterate farmers about the importance of maintaining the livestocks in good health for agricultural activities. The cattle are taken to the village centers and the villagers gather at the centers and watch as the young men race each other's cattle. Big uproar is seen when the game "Manji Virattu" starts in which groups of young men chase the running bulls. At some places "Jallikattu" is arranged. It is a bull-fight in which money bags are tied to the horns of ferocious bulls and unarmed young men try to snatch the wads of currency that are tied to the horns of the bull. Sometimes, a red cloth is tied and the one who gets that cloth off the horns of the running bull is rewarded. Competitions like chewing of sugarcane are arranged.
The Fourth Day
Fourth"day is known as Kaanum Pongal or seeing Pongal. People will visit their relative's houses on this day. "Married women who live in their husband"s family will visit their parents on this day with gifts and sweets. t is dedicated to the sun god, Surya and has its roots in ancient Brahminical tradition. Since Pongal is a rural, agrarian based festival that celebrates the harvests, the sun is a vital part of the proceedings. This is because the Sun is the symbol of life on Earth. Without the Sun, crops cannot sprout and grow. Without the Sun, harvests will not be plentiful.
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