Pongal is a tamil festival which is celebrated on the month of “Thai” (tamil), January 14 to 17. It’s a four day celebration of welcoming the spring season. On the days of pongal people wear new clothes, eat sweets, sugarcane and thank the gods for giving such a good harvest for the year. So, pongal is also known as “Ulavar thirunaal” (Farmer’s festival).
This is the first day of pongal to honor the god of rain “lord Indra”. People worship this god for providing rain and supporting the harvest season. The houses are cleaned and whitewashed on this day. In the evening of this day people observe a ritual called bonfire. All the useless household things are burnt and people sing and dance around the fire.
The second day is the actual pongal day. On this day people worship the sun god. People prepare a sweet named pongal, made of freshly harvested rice, jaggery , ghee, cashews, raisins and milk in an earthern pot and pray the sun god and distribute the pongal to friends and relatives.
The third day of pongal is dedicated to cattle that help to plough and harvest and known as “Mattu pongal” (Mattu = cows). There is a story behind celebrating mattu pongal. Once the lord shiva sends his bull basava to earth to convey a message to humans that the people should take bath daily and eat once a month. But by mistake basava conveyed it wrongly as they can eat daily and take oil bath once in a month. As a result , lord shiva punished basava to live on the earth forever and help people in ploughing the fields.
Kaanum PongalKaanum literally means “to see”. It’s the day of people to visit their family and friends and spend their time with them. Being the last day of pongal, the farmer’s rest and celebrate this day in high spirit.
As you celebrate the festival of pongal, with a lot of fervor and cheer, my warm wishes comes your way, with a world of good wishes for every joy and happiness. Wish you all a happy and prosperous pongal of the year 2013.