Pongal Festival (Harvest Festival)
Introduction: Pongal is a harvest festival, celebrated by the people belonging to Hindu faith. On this occasion, people thanks the Sun God for abundant agricultural crops. The festival is most popular in the state of Tamil Nadu in India and in Srilanka.
The harvest festival corresponds to the celebration of Makar Sankranti. Generally, the festival of Pongal and Lohri are celebrated on the same day.
Pongal is a Tamil word means which means ‘overflowing’. This festival signifies good wishes, wealth, abundance and prosperity.
Celebration and Rituals: Pongal Festival is celebrated for four days. The four days of the Pongal festival are known as Bhogi, Surya, Mattu and Kaanum.
Day 1 – Bhogi Pongal: It is celebrated on the first day of the festival. The houses are cleaned and old items are discarded.
Day 2 – Surya Pongal: Surya Pogal, also known as Thai Pongal, is celebrated on the second day of the festival. This day is devoted to Surya Dev (the Sun God). This day is the first day of the Thai month in Tamil calendar.
Day 3 – Mattu Pongal: It is celebrated on the next day of Surya Pongal. This day is also known as ‘Thanksgiving’ day. People play a variety of games on this day. This day is also known as ‘Kanu Pongalâ€. On this day, following the custom of ‘Kanu Pidi’, girls and women are seen offering prayers for the well-being of their brothers. They also make sweets and delicious dishes for their brothers.
Day 4 – Kaanum Pongal: The fourth day and the last day of the festival is known as Kannum Pongal. This is a time for re-union of friends and families. The younger people seek blessings of the elders.