If you are born in India, you will find many reasons to celebrate life. The numerous culture that exit here is probably the reason, the entire calendar is all filled with festivals. We have just completed many celebrations and entered into New Year 2021.
As we come down in the first month of the year, Pongal essentially is the festival that gives a great start to a cheerful year ahead. On 14th January (Thursday) the Pongal (2021) is celebrated in India and ends on Sunday, 17 January. Pongal is the most important and passionately celebrated harvest festival of South India.Talk to astrologer to know more rituals about Pongal
In the Tamil calendar, Tai (from Thai) refers to the name of the tenth month, while Pongal (from pongu) indicates “boiling over” or “overflow.” The tradition of boiling rice in a pot until it starts overflowing, which is known by different names in different parts of the country. Other traditions of the celebration include drawing of Kolam, Swinging and Cooking of a sweetened dish of rice boiled in milk and we that is ritually consumed on this day.
Pongal festival comes in the middle of January every year and symbolizes the auspicious beginning of Uttarayan (sun’s journey northwards). Pongal festival lasts for four days. This four days long festival is celebrated as a Thanks Giving ceremony to God for the harvest of the season and showing thanks to nature. As we all know, for any farmer collecting (harvest) is the biggest part of all his hard work. All the year, farmers are trapped with their cattle, working day & night depending on rain and Sun. So, this is a note of acknowledgment to God for helping him throughout. They believe that God shall give them peace, happiness, prosperity and harmony in life with this festival.
Pongal festival belongs to Tamil Nadu state of South India and every part of the country has its traditions. You probably do not know the traditions and preparations to make for Pongal 2021, If you belong to North India,
Pongal celebrations were celebrated for more than 2,000 years back. The history of this festival is traced from 200 BC to 300 AC which is the Sangam Age. In Sanskrit Puranas, this festival is mentioned as Dravidian Harvest festival. We can say that the celebrations of the Sangam Era led to the Pongal festival. In the Sangam era, it was the biggest festival in the reign of Pallavas during 4th to 8th century AC.
This ancient festival is mostly celebrated in south India particularly in Tamil Nadu. Some say that it is was there during the days of the medieval Chola Empire. In history, the Pongal dish was traced in the Chola period. It had various texts and inscriptions with different spellings. In early records, it is as ponakam, tiruponakam and ponkal.
Traditionally on this day people thank and appreciate the Sun god by providing energy for the growth of crops. This festival is a thanksgiving to the Sun god for helping the farmers for yielding better crops. From the Tamil calendar, Pongal is celebrated on the third day. Pongal is the most important festival in the Hindu festivals. In Tamilnadu, this festival is celebrated for four days with great joy. Pongal is also a dish name which is made at this festival.
In the Tamil calendar, it is the month of Margazhi (December- January). In the ancient time during this festival the young girls prayed for rain and prosperity in the country, they avoided milk and milk products in that month. They avoided harsh words while talking and did not use oil on their hair. They worshipped the goddess Katyayani, carved with wet sand. This penance was ended on the first day of the month of Thai (January- February). These traditions and customs of penance in ancient times gave rise to Pongal celebrations.
There are also some legendary stories in the religious views of this festival Pongal. The most popular stories are related to Lord Shiva and Lord Indra. According to the legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go on to the earth and tell him to ask mortals to have an oil massage, have to bath every day and to eat once farmers and Basava announce to eat every month and to have an oil bath once a month. For this mistake, Shiva curses Basava to live on earth forever by ploughing the fields and helping the farmers.
According to another legend of Lord Indra and Lord Krishna, In childhood, Lord Krishna decided to teach a lesson to Lord Indra because he was arrogant after he became a king. He askes all his cowherds to stop worshipping the lord Indra, this brought Indra anger and sent clouds with thunder-storm for three days continuously. Then Krishna lifted Mountain Govardhan to save all the humans. Later Indra realized his mistake.
According to Hindu mythology, The Pongal festival is celebrated for 4 days and it is the most important harvest festival in south India. Before cutting the paddy there will be a pooja and the farmers worship the sun and the earth by applying sandalwood paste to the tools they need to harvest.
All four days are celebrated with different festivities. On these days, families gather and share their joy, clean their houses, make special sweets with rice, and celebrate the festival. The four days of the Pongal festival are named accordingly and celebrated.
• First day of Pongal (The Bhogi festival) - Thursday, 14 January 2021
On the first day of this festival, a Bone fire is made using the wood & cow dung cakes and the unused items are burned in this fire, by getting rid of the old things and cleaning the houses.
On this day new things are welcomed, by burning the old things in the Bhogi fire. Farmers burn their old household materials like or the old farming tools and bring new tools for the harvest.
By allowing the old things to burn and new things are welcomed, as paraiyana kadiwalum, pudiyana pugudulam” suggests that people should change as time changes and new things should be embraced and let go of old things.
• The second day of Pongal (Thai Pongal) – Friday, 15 January 2021
On this day, the milk and rice are boiled together in a Mud pot according to a unique custom. And this dish which is called Pongal is offered to the sun by tying a turmeric plant to it. At the entrance of the house, kolam is designed to this day.
• The third day of Pongal (Mattu Pondal) - Saturday, 16 January 2021
A cow is ornamented with garlands, bells and sheaves of corn on this day and is worshipped. This is an expression of happiness of the harvest to the farmers. On this auspicious day, all the people in the village gather and sprinkle turmeric water on the cattle by making a prayer.
• The Fourth day of Pongal (Kaanum Pongal) - Sunday, 17 January 2021
This is the last day of the Pongal festival, On this, a special kind of ritual is performed by the woman in the house as Raksha Bandhan. And enjoy with their families by going out or by playing some games for fun.
As Pongal is an important festival to thank the sun god and lord Indra for helping the farmers and it is considered the most important festival. On this day farmers bring their different items as an offering and a puja is performed to thank the sun god. In the year 2021, this traditional harvest festival is celebrated to see the changes in their lives.
• It is the resolution of the gathering season.
• It is the flow when people have funds to spend after the harvest.
• It is a festival to acknowledge nature for a good harvest.
• It is a festival to acknowledge the animals for helping grow food.
• It is a festival to celebrate the honor of labor.
• It is a gathering of all the people of the village.
• It is the flow to modify after a year’s toil at the fields.
• It is the dawn of the honoring of all functions at home, held back for the harvesting season to end.
• It is the beginning of summer.
• It is the dawn to carry out renovation work (i.e., Diversion of agricultural labor to other activities due to the ensuing summer)
Regional Name’s For Pongal Festival
• Makar Sankranti
• Thai Pongal
• Poki festival
• Hadaga Festival
• Gifts to Chennai
Different Recipes Of Pongal Dish
The foremost South Indian dishes are flavored during the harvest festival of Pongal making the joyful occasion. To help you participate in Pongal and heartily enjoy the festival, here are different recipes for Pongal.
• Ven Pongal
• Sakkarai Pongal
• Chakkra Pongal
• Sweet Pongal
• Rava Pongal
• Khara Pongal
• Rice Pongal
Festival Names Across The World
• Chu’s ok
• Tori no Ichi
• Ulavar Thirunaal
• August Moon Festival
• Tet Trung Thu
• Yam Festival
• Makar Sankranti