Pongal

Which god worship on the occasion of Pongal?

Lord Surya worship on the occasion of Pongal.

History of the above occasion

Origin of this occasion is around 1000 years old. During the period of Medieval Chola, festival known as Puthiyeedu took place and this means “first harvest of the year”. And from here, Pongal starts celebrating by people.

What is the significance of the above occasion?

The occasion has its importance as this is a harvest festival meant to express thanks from our hearts to Lord Surya for agricultural abundance as sun is considered as the main source of energy for the purpose of agriculture and for harvesting of goods.

What is the vidhi (method) of worship?

Pongal is a four day festival. On the first day of the festival, known as Bhogi, people mainly focus on the fresh and new things. They collect at dawn in group and light a bonfire and by this discard used and old things. In cities, people keep their houses clean, decorate them to make them look good and in villages, horns of buffaloes and oxen are painted in colours. Flowers and fruits are collected from the harvest and money is placed in a mixture and then poured the same over the children.

On the second day, known as Pongal Pandigai, comes on the first day of Thai month. On this day, sweet dish made of boiling rice is prepared in the new clay pot by people . People see the boiling milk and consider it as their prosperity and good luck. At the time of sunrise, it is offered to the Lord Surya and then offered to the people at home. Other sweet dishes like Murukku, vadai and paayasam are also prepared, people visit each others home and give greetings. In Tamil Nadu, people make rangoli at their door. In A.P. and Gujarat, kite flying festival is celebrated, in Punjab, Jahangir dance is done and in Bengal, Ganga Sagar mela takes place.

Third day of Pongal is known as Maatu Pongal which is meant for celebrating the cattle and to give thanks to them as they help us in farming, in the generation of the dairy products and in transportation of goods and in ploughing. The cattle is also bathed, their horns are painted and decorated with shikakai and kumkum is also placed on their foreheads. Games such as Jallikkattu are played in Tamil on this day. Young girls and lades follow tradition known as Kanu pidi. To attract crows, women offer bananas, vegetables by which hordes are descend to enjoy the feast known as Kaka pidi, Kanu pidi feast. Then women pray for the good of their brothers and to maintain their relationship for a long period. During the evening, people pray Lord Ganesha. Cattles are gathered and decorated. Torches of coconut leaves are formed by the people and then they run to the village borders.

On the fourth day, known as Kaanum Pongal, in T.N. families are united. The day is meant to say thanks to their family members and relatives for offering their support in harvest. In T.N. it is celebrated as a national festival and popular in rural and urban areas both. Brothers gave gifts or money to their sisters, landlords gave clothes, food or money to their employees. People also decorate their homes with various things.

This is a four day celebration of Pongal.

How to celebrate this occasion?

This occasion is celebrated by people by visiting homes of each other, by decorating homes and floors with the leaves of mango and banana and by giving gifts to each other.

What are the timings to celebrate this puja or occasion in a year?

As per the Tamil calendar, this occasion is celebrated for four days; it begins from the last day of Maargazhi, hindi month and ends in the month of Thai on its third day. And as per the Gregorian calendar, it usually celebrates between 13 January to 16 January.

In which parts of the country, this puja is considered as more important?

In Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka and Puducherry this puja is done at a big scale.

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