Pongal is four days long harvesting festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu in January. It is the
thank mother nature for celebrating the life cycles that give us grain. Pongal festival is four
each day has a different significance.Pongal festival in India marks a period of plenty, peace,
happiness. At the same time, each of its days marks a special religious significance. The main Pongal
day is Thai Pongal, i.e., the second day of Pongal. In Tamil, Pongal means 'boiling over in English.
HISTORY OF PONGAL
According to Andrea Gutiérrez - A scholar of Sanskrit and Tamil traditions, the history of the
Pongal dish in a festive and religious context can be traced to at least the Chola
of the major temple inscriptions from the Chola Dynasty to Vijayanagara Empire periods include
detailed recipes which are essentially the same as thePongal recipes of the modern era,
the variations in seasonings and relative amounts of the ingredients. Further, the terms
Ponakam, Ponkal, and its prefixed variants have meant either the festive Pongal dish
or the Pongal dish as part of the entire thali.
RITUALS OF PONGAL
People worship the Sun, mother earth, and cattle as they play a major role in harvesting and
growing rice paddy. A sweet dish is prepared on the festival's first day, called "Pongal." This
sweet dish is made on earthen pots by decorating them with kumkum and swastika marks and then
filling them with rice, jaggery, milk, water, cardamom, and some dry fruits of personal choice.
According to the ritual associated with this festival, rice is cooked in the courtyard or the
open fields. Locals firmly believe that the sun is watching the preparations, and thus, they try
to please and worship the sun god. In the morning, people go and bathe in rivers and lakes. They
wear new clothes and offer rice to the sun god, and they, too, eat rice. In the evening, they
visit their relatives and distribute the rice. Cattle are being decorated and worshipped by the
farmers because they helped a lot in growing paddy on the Muttu Pongal, i.e., on the third day.
A traditional way of wishing is "Pongal-o Pongal," which is often said right after the Pongal
has boiled on the stove. In the village, kids would dance and sing 'Pongal-o Pongal.' Loosely
translated, this means, 'It's boiling over, oh! It's boiling over!"
CELEBRATIONS OF PONGAL
The celebrations begin on the first day with Bhogi Pongal, as a fresh harvest of rice,
sugarcane, and turmeric is brought from the fields. Old and useless domestic articles are burnt
along with cow dung as part of the ritual of Bhogi Mantalu. The second day of the festival, also
known as Surya Pongal or Thai Pongal, is dedicated to the Sun God and the first day of
On this day, women wake up early in the morning, clean their houses and decorate homes with
beautiful kolam (a type of rangoli) designs. On this day, the freshly harvested rice is boiled
in pots along with milk and jaggery till they overflow and spill. The ceremony captures the
essence of the word Pongal, which means to boil or overflow. The Sun God is offered this dessert
before it's served to the family members on banana leaves.
KEY ATTRACTIONS OF PONGAL
Folk and cultural programs
Sweet Pongal, kolukattai, mango chutney, and other delicacies
Sugarcane is consumed a lot during this festival. Try som