Many wishes from the Aadheenam to you all for a festive and meaningful Pongal. As Lord Surya enters Capricorn we give thanks for the Earth's abundance and anticipate the longer and longer daylight of the coming year.
See this article for further information about Pongal:
This is a four-day festival in Tamil Nadu:
- Day 1: Bhogi Pandigai (போகி பண்டிகை)
- Day 2: Thai Pongal (தை பொங்கல்)
- Day 3: Maattu Pongal (மாட்டுப் பொங்கல்)
- Day 4: Kaanum Pongal (காணும் பொங்கல்)
The festival is celebrated four days from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai.
The first day of festival is Bhogi (போகி). It is celebrated on the last day of Margazshi by throwing away and destroying old clothes and materials, by setting them on fire, marking the end of the old and the emergence of the new. In villages there will be a simple ceremony of "Kappu Kattu" (kappu means secure) will be done. The 'neem' leaves are kept along the walls and roof of the houses. This is to eliminate negative forces.
- Thai Pongal
The second day of festival is Thai Pongal or simply Pongal. It is the main day of the festival, falling on the first day of the Tamil month Thai which starts with the solar cycle when sun starts moving through the summer solstice. It is celebrated by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in new pots, which are later topped with brown sugar, cashew nuts and raisins early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel. This tradition gives Pongal its name. The moment the rice boils over and bubbles out of the vessel, the tradition is to shout "பொங்கலோ பொங்கல் (Ponggalo Ponggal)!" and blow the sangu (a conch), a custom practiced to announce it was going to be a year blessed with good tidings. Then new boiled rice is offered to the Sun god during sunrise, as a prayer which symbolizes thanks to the sun for providing prosperity. It is later served to the people in the house for the ceremony. People prepare savories and sweets such as vadai, murukku, payasam
and visit each other and exchange greetings.
- Maattu Pongal
The third day of festival is Maattu Pongal (மாட்டுப் பொங்கல்). It is for offering thanks to cattle, as they help farmers in agriculture. On this day the cattle are decorated with paint, flowers and bells. They are allowed to roam free and fed sweet rice and sugar cane. Some people decorate the horns with gold or other metallic covers. In some places, Jallikattu, or taming the wild bull contest, is the main event of this day and this is mostly seen in the villages.
- Kaanum Pongal
The fourth day of the festival is Kaanum Pongal (காணும் பொங்கல்: the word kaanum means "to view"). During this day people visit their relatives, friends to enjoy the festive season. It is a day to thank relatives and friends for their support in the harvest. It started as a farmers festival, called as Uzhavar Thirunaal in Tamil