Pongal is a four-day-long festival celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu. It generally falls in the month of January. It is celebrated to thank the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping the farmers to grow and yield better crops throughout the year.
Below, we have some Pongal celebration images to see how to celebrate the festival. It is a sacred festival for Tamilians as they harvest the first harvest of the year. Here is how to celebrate Pongal.
The first day of Pongal is dedicated to Lord Indra, the lord of rain. The ritual of Bhogi Mantalu is also observed this day. On this day, all the items of the household which are useless are thrown in a bonfire. The bonfire is made of cow dung cakes and wood.
This day is dedicated to the Lord of Sun. On this day, families cook a dish, known as Pongal. In a clay pot, rice, milk, green gram (mung) jaggery, spices, nuts and dry fruits. It is first served to the Lord of Sun then the families and neighbours sit together and share their Pongal with each other.
Kolam for Pongal is another important aspect of this day. On this day, hand-drawn traditional designs are drawn at the entrance of houses with lime powder. Kolum is an auspicious drawing that must be done early in the morning and only after a bath.
The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to cows. Cows and cattle are adorned with bells, sheaves of corn, and garlands and worshipped. It is believed that Lord Shiva had sent a bull once with a message to the Earth, asking them to have an oil massage and bath daily and to eat once a month. Mistakenly, the bull announced to everyone that they are supposed to eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This angered Lord Shiva and he cursed the bull to plough the fields to help people produce more food.
The last day of Pongal is marked as Kaanum (or Kanu). On this day, the women of the household carry out a ritual in the name of their brothers and pray for their prosperity. There the leftover sweets of Pongal and other food are put out in the courtyard. They are set on a washed turmeric leaf along with betel leaves, betel nuts, and sugar cane.