Pongal 2017 Date - A Tamilians Harvest Festival
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Pongal will be celebrated on 14 January 2017. It is highly popularized in the Southern parts of India,especially Tamil Nadu. Tamilians celebrate this festival in a traditional and simple way. It's a four day festive carnival and is celebrated to thank nature. On the first day of pongal, Lord Indra is worshipped. On the second day, Lord Sun is worshipped. Cattle is worshipped on the third day. On the fourth day, prayers for the well being of brother and his family are being carried out.
Pongal 2017: What is Pongal?
Pongal is the harvest festival celebrated by the Tamil community in the Tamil month of Thai (January - February). Thus, Pongal is popular as Thai Pongal. This festival is celebrated as a tribute to the nature, to ensure good harvest of the crops like rice, sugar-cane, cereals, turmeric and so on. Thai Pongal festival is celebrated at the same time as other important festivals like Lohri in Punjab, Bhogali Bihu in Assam, Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh and Makara Sankranti in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal.
The word 'Pongal', as a literal translation in Tamil means 'to boil and spill over'. The signature sweet dish which is made on this day, gets its name from this festival - Pongal. Pongal is celebrated for four continuous days in this harvest month of Thai. Let's start with the first day of Pongal called Bhogi.
Bhogi: First Day of Pongal
The first day of Thai Pongal starts with Bhogi celebrations. The deity worshipped on this day is Lord Indra (God of rain). The ritual followed on this day of Thai Pongal is to build a fire and throw all the old and unused items like utensils and clothes into it. This ritual of Thai Pongal is like a symbol of throwing away all the past wrongs and welcoming a good future. Crowd gather around the fire and relish merry moments by singing songs and dancing around the bonfire.
Festival of Pongal
Surya Pongal: Second Day Of Pongal
The second day of Thai Pongal starts with Surya Pongal celebrations. The deity which is worshipped on this day is Sun god. The day starts with the ceremonial boiling of rice outside the house, is then offered to the Sun God. As per traditions of Thai Pongal, a turmeric plant is tied around the vessel in which the rice is boiled. Once the rice gets boiled and spills over the vessel, the offering is made to Sun god along with two pieces of sugarcane, bananas and coconuts. Another important ritual that is followed during this Puja is the drawing of traditional Rangolis (floor paintings) in front of the vessels.
Mattu Pongal: Third Day of Pongal
The third day of Thai Pongal is known as Mattu Pongal. In Tamil, Mattu means cow and the day is dedicated to cows, which is one of the prime necessity for agriculture. The cows are decorated using various accessories like a belt of tingle bells, garlands of flowers, sheaves of corn, etc. The cows are then taken for procession and events like cow races. One of the main attractions of this day of Thai Pongal is the Jallikattu (Bull fighting). Young chivalrous men fight with the bulls to tame them down and win money rewards. One place very famous for this Jallikattu festival on Thai Pongal is the Madurai city in Tamil Nadu, also known as the temple town.
Kanum Pongal: Fourth Day of Pongal
The fourth and the last day of Thai Pongal is known as Kanum Pongal. The day begins with the women of the house assembling in the courtyard for a ritualistic prayer ceremony. The Puja begins with placing a washed turmeric leaf and on top of that, sweet Pongal, Venn (spicy) Pongal, white rice, betel nuts and leaves, sugarcane and turmeric are placed. The women then pray for good health and prosperity of her brother's family members. After this, women perform aarti of her brother. This water is then sprinkled on the kolam to ward off any negativity and to welcome Goddess Lakshmi into the house on the last day of Thai Pongal.
With Kanum Pongal, ends the four days celebration of this beautiful harvest festival. Thai Pongal in 2017 will be filled with all the excitement of the four wonderful days.
We wish one and all a Happy Pongal 2017!
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