Tamil festival Pongal Festival
Pongal festival or Thai Pongal festival is celebrated by Tamilians across the world. Pongal festival is the main and one of the most important festivals in Tamilnadu. Pongal festival sometimes referred as Harvesting festival. The Significance of the festival is to thank the nature which gives the prosperity to them. Pongal festival is dedicated to Sun God Surya.
All the Tamils do white wash to their houses just before the Pongal Festival. Pongal festival is also called as Thamizhar Thirunal. Pongal is celebrated in the Tamil Month of Thai. Thai month is very important month in Tamil Calender. "Thai Piranthal Vazhi Pirakkum" is normally referred by Tamils.
Pongal festival is a four day festival.
Day 1 of Pongal festival – Bhogi Pongal
Day 2 of Pongal festival – Thai Pongal
Day 3 of Pongal festival – Mattu Pongal
Day 4 of Pongal festival – Kaanum Pongal / Thiruvalluvar day
The first day of the Pongal Festival is Bhogi festival. Bhogi festival is celebrated the last day of Tamil month Maargazhi (13-January). This day is starting day of grand Pongal festival. This day is dedicated to God Indiran, who is the ruler of Clouds which give us rain. People clean out their home completely will throw all their old and unwanted things from their home and burn in a common place and will dance by praising the god.
Motto of the Bhogi festival is "Pazhaiyana Kazhithalum and Puthiyana Puguthalum" (Discard the old things and focus on new things)
Thai Pongal Festival
The Second day of the Pongal festival is Thai Pongal. Pongal festival is the four day festival. Pongal festival falls on first day of Tamil Month "Thai" (14-January). Thai Pongal festival is celebrated by boiling the freshly harvested rice with fresh milk and Jaggery in decorated new pots. This boiling rice will take during sun rise. Everyone shout "Pongalo Pongal" during this time. The boiled rice is offered firstly to Sun God and later it served to everyone in the house.
During this day People will exchange their greetings by giving the different variety of Sweets. All the Young people will be given a gift and blessings from their parents and grand parents during this day. Everyone's house will be decorated by beautiful and Colorful Kolams. Kolam is nothing but a form painting which is drawn by using the rice powder in front the home.
The third day of the Pongal festival is Mattu Pongal.
Mattu Pongal is mostly celebrated in rural area. Cattle / Cows / Bulls are most important for farmers for Agricultural purpose. This day is celebrated to thank the Cattle / Cow / Bulls for their hard work through out the year. All the cattle / bulls are given bath and painted their horns. People will offer the newly cooked rice to Cattle and bulls and pray to them.
Jallikattu is one kind sport which is played during the Pongal celebrations. Jallikattu is one of the oldest sports. Jallikattu sometimes refer as Manju Virattu(Chasing the bull).
Bulls horns will be tied with bundles of money and younger age men it will be allowed freely in the ground. Younger men will try to retrieve the money by fighting with bulls. Alanganallur near to Madurai is very famous for Jallikattu.Aviniapuram, Palemedu (near to Madurai), many villages in Pudukkottai, Sivaganga, Madurai, Trichy, Thanjavur and Theni districts are very famous for JalliKattu
The last of the Pongal celebrations is Kaanum Pongal. During this day, people will go to their relative homes and will exchange their happiness. In Urban areas, people will go out places like Beach, theme parks with their families to enjoy the whole day. Kaanum Pongal will also call as Thiruvalluvar day who is the Icon Tamil.
All the four are Government Holidays in Tamil Nadu