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How to celebrate the Thai Pongal festival?

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Posted on : 27/Dec/2018 11:36:08



 
 
 
Pongal (Thai Pongal or Uzhavar Thirunaal) is a festival celebrated to embrace and rejoice the Sun God who favors all livelihood on earth in all forms of vegetation and life sustainability. Agriculture is not possible without sun and so the festival marks a special day for thanking Sun God for a good harvest. Rituals and customs of Tamil People in this special day mainly orient with the process of agriculture and harvesting.

The festival originated in Tamil Nadu as an agricultural celebration showing gratitude to our Sun, the source for all living things on Planet Earth. Uttarayan commences after chilly winters denoting the birth of the month Thai of Tamil calendar. With reference to the ancient Tamil calendar Pongal festival is celebrated for four days. The festive season of Pongal comes around January middle in terms with Gregorian calendar.

People across Tamil Nadu clean their houses before the arrival of the festival. Buying a big sized pot along with Jaggery and rice to prepare Pongal is a common ritual for the festival. Sugar cane kept along sides of the Pongal preparation and while the rice gets steamed people thank the sun god facing it to the east. Traditional sarees and dhotis are commonly used for this auspicious occasion.

Pongal festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu is not a religious custom with formal worship scenarios. It is the celebration of nature, Sun, Mother Earth and Water for giving life to human beings. The traditional and progressive festival of Tamil Nadu finds the beautiful meaning in relevance to thank nature for sustaining life on Earth.

Kolam is one of the main event in the celebration of Thai Pongal. People place big Kolam with colorful designs in front of their houses. Most of the population goes to their homeland down south of Tamil Nadu to celebrate the agricultural festival. People from Chennai celebrate this in their respective houses facing the sun in the mornings of the main day, Thai Pongal.

Types of Pongal festival

Pongal is celebrated for four days in Tamil Nadu, each day varies with the details of separate events and cultural importance.

Bhogi Pongal

The first day of Pongal is referred as Bhogi Pongal where people start their day early in the morning. Old things and dumps are burned in the morning in front of the houses to symbolize the welcoming of New Year. The day meant for burning up of old things that drag us mentally and physically and to start a new life.

Perum Pongal

Perum Pongal or Surya Pongal is the main event of the entire festival. People cook Pongal on this day thanking the Sun god for all the agricultural assistance and harvest. New dresses, Exchange of various traditional sweets and dishes among friends and relatives and worshipping the Sun god are the common occurrence of the day.

Maatu Pongal

Maatu Pongal is celebrated for the animals involved with the agricultural community. This cattle based worship is mainly for showing gratitude towards animals for the contribution of peoples well-being. Cows are cleansed and colorful decorations are laid upon them on this special day to for animals. Jalli Kattu, one of the cultural events of Tamil Nadu will be conductcted all through the important centers on this day of Thai Pongal festival.

Kaanum Pongal

Kaanum Pongal or Thiruvalluvar day marks the fourth final day of the Pongal celebration. People visit their relatives and friends on this day, travel to different places for embracing the relationship. Unity is the main theme for the day with crowded population in all tourist places across the state.