Pongal festival is celebrated mainly in South India. This festival is celebrated for four days, is dedicated to the god of agriculture and crop. Devotees traditionally offered Pogals as a Prashad to Lord Suryadev (Lord Sun) due to which the name of this festival is called Pongal. Pongal is celebrated as a significant festival in South India with lots of traditional rituals. Oxen fight is quite famous on Pongal. At night, people organize a communal feast and wish each other a happy year. On this sacred occasion, people express gratitude towards Lord Sun God for crop and light in life. This year Pongal will be celebrated from 14th January to 17th January 2018.
Sankranti Moment = 3:30 PM
Pongal festival is mainly of four types
- Bhogi Pongal
- Soory Pongal
- Mattoo Pongal
- Kanom Pongal
Pongal first day is celebrated in the form of a respected Bhogi festival of Lord Indra. This is celebrated because Lord Indra is the highest ruler of the clouds which gives rain. For the abundance of the crop, tribute is given to Lord Indra, which provides rich wealth and prosperity in the country. Another ritual is celebrated on this day, namely Bhogi Mantalu. In this celebration, waste products of the house are thrown out of and fire with wood and cow dung. Girls dance around the fire and sing songs in praise of the gods.
On the second day of Pongal, rice is boiled in a pottery in the milk outside the house and it is offered to the Lord Sun along with other divine objects. All people wear traditional costumes. Another interesting ritual is also where the husband and wife especially distribute the utensils of worship. According to the appointed ritual, a turmeric plant is bundled around the pot in which the rice will be boiled. Prasad is made from coconut, banana and sugarcane dishes. Apart from Prasad, a common feature of worship is Kollam. Kollam is auspicious which is traditionally made in white lime powder.
The third day is known as Mattoo Pongal and on this day people worship the cow. In the neck of the cow, devotees put the floral beads. The sounds of cattle bells attract villagers as the people tie their cattle together. According to the Hindu belief, Lord Shiva asked his bull to go to Earth and asked him for taking oil massage and bath every day and eat it once a month from the men. Inadvertently Baswa announced that everyone should eat daily and should take a bath with oil once a month. This mistake made Lord Shiva angry and he cursed Baswa that he must live forever on earth and solve the fields of the people so that people can get help in generating more food. Thus there is a relation with the cattle with this day.
The last day of Pongal is called Kanom Pongal. On this day turmeric leaves are washed and then kept on the ground. Many types of food are kept on this leaf such as sweet rice, betel nut, sugarcane etc.