Pongal Celebration in Tamil Nadu Pongal Festival Tamil Calendar 2011
Pongal Festival has great association with harvest and hence it is celebrated as Harvest Festival in Tamilnadu and it marks the end of harvesting. The day is looked upon as another New Year Day, though actual Tamil New Year Day falls three months later. Geographically, it marks the transit of the sun from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer. According to Tamil Calendar Pongal Festival is celebrated during Tamil Month of Thai and it is one of the longest "Festivals of Tamils" which lasts for four days from 14th to 17th of January every year. Tamil Thai Pongal Festival is considered as an auspicious one and is an occasion where there is rejoicing in every home as there is a belief in the Hindu Culture that the Tamil Month of Thai will brings good fortune to everyone as goes by the Tamil Sayings with regard to Pongal Festival is that "Thai piranthaal Vazhi Pirakkum" which means "the commencement of Thai provides ways for new opportunities".
Let us move on to four days festivals of Pongal.
Tamil Festival Bhogi Pongal First Day of Pongal Celebration
The first day of Pongal is known as Bhogi Pongal. People used to burn things that are of no use. But Tamilnadu Government has prohibited the burning of plastic and rubber so as to avoid air pollution. Only a few people know about the real significance of Bogi Festival as they have to discard not only the old things which of no use but they have to discard the ill feelings and bad habits of the past which are of no use to them. Houses are white-washed and there is an atmosphere of joy pervading the whole household. The day is dedicated to Lord Indra the God of Clouds and Rains. People makes offering to please him to get a good harvest on the coming year and a kind of thankfulness for the abundant havest they had on the previous year. On this day at evening they used to go for shopping, to buy new clothes, sugarcane, pongal pots for the next day celebration. On this day they make special Tamil Pongal Festival Recipe Poli, and in some homes they cook Tamil Recipe Mor Kozhambu and Tamil Festival Recipe Ama Vada /Bengal Gram Vada.
Thai Pongal Festival Second Day of Pongal Festival
The second day is the main celebration of Pongal which marks the beginning of the Tamil Month Thai. The entrances of every houses is adorned with colourful Pongal Kolams. The Sun God is worshipped on this Day. On this day, a special dish called "Sarkakarai Pongal" is cooked in new mud pot called as "Pongapanai" which is adorned with flowers, turmeric plants. When the pongal in the dish froths, everyone on the household filled with joy and will shout out 'Pongal-O-Pongal' . Prayers are rendered and they recite Aditya Hridayam, Surya Ashtotram and they used to Chant Gayatri Mantra on this day and they offer this Chakkarai Pongal dish to Sun God. People used to cook Pongal Recipes such as Tamil Recipe Ven Pongal, Sarkarai Pongal, Sambar.
Read here to know about Pongal Festival 2011 Schedule Dates and Auspicious Time to Celebrate Pongal
Maattu Pongal/ Kanu Pongal Third Day of Pongal Celebration
Maatu Pongal is the third day of Pongal Celebration in Tamilnadu. Maattu is a tamil word meaning bull. Those days people used to plough lands with the help of bulls for cultivation. But now it has been replaced by tractors but even now you can see some small farmers makes use of bulls to plough their lands. The day is dedicated to pay homage to Cow or Bull a kind of thanks giving to them. On this day the bulls are bathed and the horns are painted in colours adorned with garlands and small bells are tied around their neck. Bulls will be given pongal, sugarcane and other stuffs too. In some villages bull fightings were arranged on an open ground and the bull fighting is known as 'Jallikattu' where young men courageously took part to fight with them and try to subdue the bull and there by grab the money bags which were tied to the sharped horns of ferocious bulls. Alanganallur Jallikattu is a famous one and Alanganallur is nearby to Madurai where many people from all over visits here to see the bull fight. Some people get injured during this bull fight and there are lot of controversies as against in conducting of this one, but still in some parts of Tamilnadu it is conducted every year as they consider this as a tradition and the day to test the valor of the youth.
Kanu Pidi also known as Kanup Pongal is a tradition adopted on the day of Mattu Pongal where the ladies and young girls of the house make cooked colored rice, cooked vegetable sambhar, sweet pongal and they place it on a turmeric leaf on open spaces so as to feed crows and birds and they pray for their brother's happiness and eventually brothers will give some sort of gifts to their sisters on this day.
Kaanum Pongal / Uzavar Thirunaal /Thiruvalluvar Day Fourth Day of Pongal Festival Celebration
The tamil word 'kaanum' means to see. In Tamilnadu people consider this day as an auspicious day where they make their visits to their relatives place and they all go out on a picnic to beaches, or gather at riverbanks and they enjoy the day having a meal together (Kootanchoru). This day is also celebrated as Tiruvalluvar day as he was born on this day and the day is also celebrated as Uzhavar Tirunal in honor for farmers. The four days Pongal Festival ends with this Festival Day of Kaanum Pongal.
More articles: Tamilnadu festivals