Pongal Festival

What is Pongal?, Significance of Pongal, Pongal Importance



Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated mainly in Southern parts of India and Srilanka. This festival is primarily intended to thank the Sun God. Pongal is a Tamil word and it letarally means “spill over” or “boiling over”. This is a symbol of abundance in the house after the havrvest season. Makar Sankranti and Lohri are the other festivals also celebrated during this time in India.

During the pongal, Tamilians wash and decorate their homes. Doorways are also decoreated with colorful garlands of leaves and flowers. Draw kolams/rangolis on the door step. As stated earlier, this festival is dedicated to Surya Bhagavan. Tamilians worship Sun God and fallow Solar calender. This is the thanks giving festival for the solar diety for the good harvest and offer the first grain to him. This offering is known as ‘Surya Mangalyam’.

Pongal festival is celebrated for four days. Bhogi, Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Thiruvalluvar Day. Each day of the pongal has its own importance.

First day is celebrated as Bhogi Pandagai or Bhogi Pongal. On this day, the Rain God is worshiped. This is a day for the family. The elder family members present gifts to the young.

The second day is observed as the Surya Pongal and is dedicated to the Sun God. People prepare sweetened rice, milk and jaggery in new earthen pots and dedicate it to Sun God.

The third day of the Pongal is the Mattu Pongal. This day is for the worship of the cattle.

Thiruvalluvar is a great Tamil poet and philosopher, who contributed “Thirukkural” to the Tamil literature.

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