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Pongal

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Pongal Celebrations

The Hindu festival of Pongal is celebrated for four days and each of them is holds a special significance.



Bhogi Festival:

The first day of the festival is known as Bogi or Bhogi and is celebrated to commemorate Indra, the god of Rain. On this day people wash and decorate their houses. Fresh harvest are brought in and worshipped. The farmers embrocate their ploughs and sickles with sandalwood paste to express their gratitude to the sun and earth.

 

Bhogi Mantalu - a ritual to burn the useless household articles is performed. It takes the shape of a bonfire and the girls dance and sing around it praising gods, spring and the harvest.


Surya Pongal:

The second day is Surya Pongal and people worship the Sun God. The fist day of Tamil month Thai fall on this day hence making it more special and significant. The women in the houses decorate the floors with Kollam (rangoli or colorful decorations done with rice flour). Then everyone in the houses joins in to cook new rice in a pot until it overflows. As the rice starts to boil and overflow people greet each other by saying Pongal O Pongal as it marks the prosperity in the coming year. After this people visit the houses of their relatives, family and friends.


Mattu Pongal:

The third day is Mattu Pongal and is dedicated to the cattle. On this day the cattle are bathed, decorated with ornaments like beads, bells flower garlands etc. After that, they are taken to the centre of the village where people worship them.


Kanum Pongal:

The last day of Pongal is known as Kanum Pongal, Karinaal or Thiruvalluvar Day. This day is celebrated by every woman for the welfare of her brother. Before taking a bath all the women get together at a courtyard and they wish long time and prosperity of their brothers. The rest of the day is spent by family gatherings and merriment.

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