Pongal Festival | History, Legends, Celebrations

Pongal Festival, Overview


, which can be known as Thai Pongal, is a multi-day Hindu harvest competition of South India, significantly within the Tamil group. It is noticed firstly of the month Tai in response to the Tamil photo voltaic calendar, and that is sometimes about January 14. It is devoted to the Hindu solar god, the Surya, and corresponds to Makar Sankranti, the harvest competition below many regional names celebrated all through India. The three days of the Pongal competition are known as Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, and Maattu Pongal.

According to custom, the competition marks the tip of the winter solstice and the beginning of the solar's six-month-long journey northwards when the sun enters the zodiac, Makara. The competition is known as after the ceremonial "Pongal", which suggests "to boil, overflow" and refers back to the conventional dish ready from the brand new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery. To mark the competition, the Pongal candy dish is ready, first supplied to the gods and goddesses, adopted typically with an providing to cows, after which shared by the household. Festive celebrations embrace adorning cows and their horns, ritual bathing, and processions. It is historically an event for adorning rice-powder primarily based kolam artworks, providing prayers within the dwelling, temples, getting along with household and pals, and exchanging items to resume social bonds of solidarity.

What is Pongal?

Pongal is a four-day-long harvest competition celebrated in Tamil Nadu, which falls within the month of Thai (that's, the January-February season) when crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric, and so on. are harvested.

The time period 'Pongal' in Tamil means "to boil", and this competition is well known as a thanksgiving ceremony for the 12 months' harvest. Pongal, one of many vital Hindu festivals, falls across the similar time as Lohri yearly, which is around mid-January.

Pongal additionally occurs to be the identity of a dish consumed throughout this festive time, which is sweetened rice boiled with lentils.

History of Pongal

Pongal is a historical competition of individuals in South India significantly Tamils. The historical past of the competition will be traced again to the Sangam Age i.e. 200 B.C. To 300 A.D. Although, Pongal originated as a Dravidian Harvest competition and has a point out in Sanskrit Puranas, historians establish the competition with the Thai Un and Thai Niradal that are believed to have been celebrated in the course of the Sangam Age.

Observance of Pongal During the Sangam Era (Thai Niradal)

The celebrations of the Sangam Era led to right now's Pongal celebrations. As a part of the festivities, maidens of the Sangam period noticed 'Pavai Nonbu' on the time of Thai Niradal which was a significant competition in the course of the reign of the Pallavas (4th to the eighth Century AD). It was noticed in the course of the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January).During this competition younger ladies prayed for rain and prosperity of the nation. Throughout the month, they prevented milk and milk merchandise. They wouldn't oil their hair and shunned utilizing harsh phrases whereas talking. Women used to bathtub early within the morning. They worshiped the idol of Goddess Katyayani, which might be carved out of moist sand. They ended their penance on the primary day of the month of Thai (January-February). This penance was to convey plentiful rains to flourish the paddy. These traditions and customs of historical occasions gave rise to Pongal celebrations.

Andal's Tiruppavai and Manickavachakar's Tiruvembavai vividly describe the competition of Thai Niradal and the ritual of observing Pavai Nonbu. According to an inscription discovered within the Veeraraghava temple at Tiruvallur, the Chola King Kiluttunga used to reward lands to the temple specifically for the Pongal celebrations.

Legends of Pongal

History of PongalSome legendary tales are additionally related to Pongal competition celebrations. The two hottest legends of Pongal are tales associated with Lord Shiva and Lord Indra.

According to a legend, as soon as Shiva requested his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil therapeutic massage and bathtub on a daily basis and to eat as soon as a month. Inadvertently, Basava introduced that everybody ought to eat every day and have an oil bathtub as soon as a month. This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to dwell on the earth without end. He must plough the fields and assist individuals to produce extra meals. Thus the affiliation of this present day with cattle.

Another legend of Lord Indra and Lord Krishna additionally led to Pongal celebration. It is alleged when Lord Krishna had been in his childhood, he determined to show a lesson to Lord Indra who grew to become boastful after changing into the king of all deities. Lord Krishna requested all of the cowherds to cease worshiping Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and despatched forth his clouds for thunder-storms and three days steady rains. Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan to avoid wasting all of the people. Later, Lord Indra realized his mistake and divine energy of Krishna.

Pongal Celebrations


According to Hindu mythology, that is when the day of the gods begins, after a six-month lengthy night time. The competition unfolds over three days and is an important and most fervently-celebrated harvest competition of South India. A particular puja is carried out on the primary day of Pongal earlier than the chopping of the paddy. Farmers worship the solar and the earth by anointing their ploughs and sickles with sandal wooden paste. It is with these consecrated instruments that the newly-harvested rice is lower.

Each of the three days are marked by completely different festivities. The first day, Bhogi Pongal is a day for the household. Surya Pongal, the second day, is devoted to the worship of Surya, the Sun God. Boiled milk and jaggery is obtainable to the Sun God. The third day of Pongal, Mattu Pongal is for worship of the cattle generally known as Mattu. Cattle are bathed, their horns polished and painted in shiny colours, and garlands of flowers positioned around their necks. The Pongal that has been supplied to the Gods is then given to cattle and birds to eat.

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