Usually, Pongal means celebration. If we translate the word Pongal, it comes out as boiling over.
Pongal is also the name of one sweet dish made in southern India. Pongal dish is made by boiling of rice with pulses; people eat this dish on the day of Pongal.
The festival Pongal is a harvesting festival which is a dedication to god Sun. The festival generally falls in the mid of January when the main ingredient of Tamil cooking like rice, pulses, lentils, sugarcane, and turmeric are harvested.
Regarding this festival, People of Tamil Nadu thanks to nature in their traditional way. Pongal is the state festival of Tamil Nadu(the union territory of Puducherry).
First Day Celebration
As it is a four-day celebration, the very first day of celebration referred to as Bhogi festival. On the Bhogi day, people of Tamil Nadu worship the Lord Indra(the god of rain). They pray to god to shower their blessings in the form of love, wealth, good health and prosperity.
People of Tamil set another ritual for the first day said as Bhogi Mantalu. In this ritual, people remove out the waste household articles and make born fire by putting wood and cow dung cakes. The main motive of this bonfire is to keep warm during the last lap of winter.
Second Day Celebration
On the second day of Pongal, the very first thing they do after bathing is the women make traditional rangoli designs traced in white lime powder which Tamil people refer as Kolam. An earthenware pot is kept in outdoor in which rice is cooked with milk. This is the dish which they offer to the sun god.
On this day people wear all the new traditional attire. Here people do one different ritual. On this day husband and wife dispose of their elegant utensils which are used in pooja.
The whole festival is carried out with full devotion. Following by the above ritual, people tie the plant of turmeric around the earthen pot in which the rice has to be cooked with milk also they add bananas and coconut to the dish. They also tie the sicks of sugarcane in the back of the earthen pot.
Third Day Celebration
The third day of celebration is called it Mattu Pongal. On this day people give new looks to their cows. People also refer this day as the day of cows. People give a new look to cows by putting garlands of flower, tinkling bells, shiny beads and these all are tied around the neck of cows, and people worship them.
People feed the dish known as Pongal to the cows. To remove any negativity from the atmosphere, they perform aarti.
The reason for the association of cattle on this day is a story of Lord Shiv and Basava. Once the basal was sent by Lord Shiv to the earth, and Lord Shiv asked him the mortal who is like to have an oil massage and to bath every day and ate food once in a month, but Basava makes the wrong message he asked to eat daily and shower once in a month, and by mistake Basava was cursed by Lord Shiva to live on earth forever and help to the people.
Fourth Day Celebration
The fourth day is known as Knau Pongal. Now before bathing women perform one ritual. They take turmeric leaf, and on that, they place leftover Pongal dish by doing this they as wellness about their house and for a husband, son, and brother. Women also perform aarti on brothers with turmeric water.
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