When is pongal 2023?
January 15th 2023 ( Sunday )
Makar Sankranti or Pongal is the harvest festival that is celebrated throughout India to thank the mother earth and nature, with different names.
In south India the pongal is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and eagerness to thank nature. The women in the families clean up the house and prepare for the festival. On the eve of the harvest festival the men in the house who are doing agriculture harvest the yield and prepare for the festival.
New accessories and clothes are purchased for the members of the family. The auspicious things for the festival like turmeric kumkum, incense sticks, sambrani, camphor and other things that are needed for the pooja are brought from the market.
In Tamilnadu the festival of Pongal is celebrated in a grand manner for four days.
Bhogi festival, Sun pongal, Mattu pongal and Kaanum pongal.
The first day of the pongal is celebrated as Bhogi festival to thank and honour the lord of prosperity Indra Bhagavan who bestowed the shower of prosperity in the lives of families. On this day the unwanted things from the houses are thrown outside the house early in the morning and are burned with fire. The devotional songs are sung and the members in the family go around the fire. This is also done to keep oneself warm during the winter solstice.
Perum Pongal / Sun Pongal / Main Pongal
The second day of the pongal is celebrated to thank the lord sun and show gratitude towards the lord who raised the crops and helped in gaining good wealth. The milk is boiled in a pot and the rice is cooked and offered to the sun god. The people wear new clothes and accessories and enjoy themselves with their family and relatives.
The pots in which the pongal is made is tied with turmeric leaves and turmeric kumkum is applied to the pot. Full Sugarcanes are tied around the place where the offering is done. Colourful kolams and rangoli are drawn in front of the houses. In villages the front yard of the house is covered with cow-dung water. And huge kolams are drawn by the women in the family.
Different types of vegetables are cooked and is served along with the cooked rice on a plantain leaf along with fruits, coconuts, beetle leaf and nuts. The pooja is done by chanting the mantras.
After offering the dishes to the sun god in a plantain leaf, the members of the family also consume the food.
The third day of the pongal is celebrated to thank the cow and cattle and show gratitude.
The cattle are washed and kumkum and turmeric are applied to them. The cattle is decorated with colourful garland, new bells and herbs are tied around the cattles neck. The food is cooked and is served for the cattle. Men conduct many races with cattle and enjoy the event. Bullock races, Jallikattu and other games are conducted to encourage and entertain men.
The fourth day of pongal is celebrated to thank the relatives and neighbourhood of the natives. The women in the house keep the residue of the sweet pongal, ven pongal, cooked rice, sugarcane pieces,banana, and other auspicious things along with beetle-nut. In the middle of the house. The women in the family take aarthi to the male members in the family.
Celebrate the festival of pongal along with family and seek the blessings of nature and the almighty lord who is giving us an abundance of good things for good health and happiness in human life.