Pongal is one of the most important South Indian festivals, which makes the celebration of prosperity liked with the harvest. Celebrated in Tamil Nadu and also by the Tamils in various parts of the world like Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia, the Pongal festival is in practice of around more than fifty centuries. The celebration marks the salutation and adoration of the supreme power – the SUN GOD, who embarks on a new journey towards the North on this special day, symbolling the very auspiciousness of life.
Pongal is celebrated for 4 days of Tamil Nadu, its is also celebrated in other provinces in India with various names. The festival starts from December to January of Tamil months. It usually begins on the 12th Jan till 15th Jan every year. The first day of Pongal, is known as Bhogi, is actually celebrated by discarding the clothes and unwanted materials and they are set fire. This marks the completion of an old Thai and starting of new Thai. The second day of Pongal is Veetu Pongal, which is the main day of the festivity. The people begin their day of this very special day with loads of enthusiasm and joy to celebrate it by making special preparation.
The ritual is allowed to boil over rice with jaggery and spill out of the pot. Once it’s done it is then tempered with cow’s ghee with fried cashew nuts and raisins. Once its ready, it is then offered to God on a banana lead along with other traditional delicacies like Payasam, vadas, etc. Besides this, Grains, Sweet potatoes and Sugarcane are also offered to the Sun God.
The following fay is called as Mattu Pongal – a day dedicated to the cows. The 4th day of Pongal is also considered important. This is the day when the bond between relatives and peers are re- strengthened by visiting their places and sharing thoughts of care and love.
Pongal is Singapore is also celebrated the same and you can see earthen pots colourfully decorated and loads of sugar canes in Little India.