Pongal
Hindu Festivals

Pongal 2022 | Famous Hindu Festival

The festival of Pongal is a major festival celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. This festival is also known as the festival of harvest. Just as the festival of Makar Sankranti and Lohri is celebrated in the middle of January in North India, similarly, during this time Pongal festival is seen in South India.

During this festival of happiness, and prosperity, farmers pray for the good yield of their upcoming crops. This festival is celebrated with great pomp with the cultural and traditional customs of Tamil Nadu. This festival goes for 4 days, and each day of this festival has its own significance and beliefs. So let’s know about the religious beliefs and stories related to the festival of Pongal.

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Mythology and beliefs related to Pongal Festival:-

 

Story No.-1

This religious story is associated with the anger of Lord Krishna and Lord Indra. It is believed that Lord Indra became arrogant after becoming the king of all the gods, which Lord Krishna did not like, and stopped all the cowherds of Dwarka from worshiping Lord Indra.

Due to which Lord Indra got angry and he sent the clouds to bring rain and storm in the city of Shri Krishna for three consecutive days, which brought the whole of Dwarka to the verge of destruction. After this, Shri Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain in his little finger to save his city. After this Lord Indra repented of his mistake and realized the wonderful power of Lord Shri Krishna.

After this Lord Krishna asked Lord Vishnu to rebuild Dwarka and then the cowherds started farming again with their cows and grew new crops, since then Pongal festival started being celebrated in Tamil Nadu.

 

Story No. 2-

According to this religious belief, once Lord Shankar asked his beloved bull Basava to go from heaven to earth to give a message to humans that – one should bathe with oil every day and eat food only one day in a month. But Basava went to Prithviloka and gave the message to humans contrary to the orders of Lord Shiva that, humans should bathe with oil one day and eat food every day.

After which Lord Shiva got angry at Basava’s mistake and he expelled the bull Basava from Kailash forever and cursed that he would have to plow the earth to help humans to produce grains. In this way, the day is associated with cattle. And hence the practice of worshiping bulls on the Pongal festival. Along with this, some of the places in Tamil Nadu also play the game of Jallikattu at this festival.

 

How to Celebrate Pongal Festival?:-

The celebration of theis festival in South India lasts for 4 days. For this, people make special preparations many days in advance. This festival is dedicated to Lord Surya and Nature, hence Lord Sun is worshipped and people prepare homemade special prasad which is offered to Lord Sun, which is called Pongal.

Apart from this, many traditional dishes are made at home. Special decorations of houses are done during this time. People wear new clothes, buy new utensils. Along with this, there is also a tradition of burning all the bad and bad things from the house on this occasion. During the festival of Pongal, Goddess Lakshmi, livestock, Mata Kali, Govardhan Puja, and cattle are also worshiped in a special way. People greet each other on this festival by sweetening their faces.

 

4 Days long Celebration on Pongal festival:-

The celebration of the Pongal festival lasts for four days. During this, every day has its own importance and beliefs, which are as follows –

  1. Bhogi Pongal (1st day):-

On the first day of this Pongal festival of happiness and prosperity, women clean the house thoroughly and decorate the pottery in a special way and burn the old bad things of the house in the fire of cow dung and wood. They dance and sing in a circle and express their gratitude towards God and nature.

Bhogi is dedicated to Indra, the king of the seasons. In this season new leaves and flowers appear on the trees. This festival gives the inspiration to start a new life. On this day the women of the house make some figures on the floor of the house with rice flour, which are called Kollam. These kolams are made from new crop rice, so it has special significance.

  1. Surya Pongal (2nd day):-

Surya Pongal is celebrated on the next day of Bhogi Pongal. On this day a very colorful Rangoli (Pongal Rangoli) is made outside the house. This Kollam is dedicated to the Sun God. Crops are produced by the heat and light of the sun. If there are no crops, we will not get anything to eat. Therefore, on this day, the Sun God is worshipped. Bhog is offered to the Sun God.

Specially on the day of Pongal, people buy new utensils and pour milk in it, when the milk starts boiling, then a little rice and jaggery of the new crop are added to it, in the end, it is cooked by adding spices, etc. A turmeric plant is tied at the mouth of the pot. Turmeric is considered very sacred in Tamil Nadu. The crop of turmeric and paddy comes out together, apart from this the crop of cane also descends.

The shape of the sun is made in one place. All the members of the house take bath and worship the Sun God duly. By prostrate to the Sun, his blessings are taken. After the worship, the Prasad of Sarkarai is distributed, along with small pieces of Ikh (sugarcane) are offered to everyone.

  1. Mattu Pongal (3rd Day):-

Mattu Pongal is celebrated on the third day. Gratitude towards animals is expressed on this day. The farmer plows and sows the field with the help of oxen. That is why cows and bullocks have special significance on Mattu Pongal. On this day everyone worships their pet animals and offers them prasad. Pushpa necklace is put around his neck by applying turmeric kumkum on his head. Bullock carts, plows and farming implements, weapons are painted.

The horns of bullocks are rubbed and made to be pointed, and metal rings are worn on them. People make Ganesha from the cow dung in the middle of their fields and decorate them with Dhub and flowers, and worship them with turmeric, reed, and ginger. By noon the Manji Virattu begins. The owners of the bullocks decorate them a lot, garlands of pearls and bells are tied in their homes. The money is tied in a cloth and it is tied in the horns of bulls.

Bullocks start running in the streets, young and courageous young men try to control these bullocks. And whoever succeeds in doing this, the money tied in the bundle becomes his. Some bulls are also very angry and obstinate and do not allow anyone to ride on their back. If someone tries to remove the tied bundle from their neck, they attack, because of this some people get badly injured in this game.

  1. Kannum Pongal (4th Day):-

The last day to go on the fourth day is known as Kanum Pongal. On this day everyone sits together and eats food, and takes the blessings of elders. This is how the Pongal festival is celebrated.

Traditional Meaning of Pongal:-

Before Pongal, this holy festival of prosperity and prosperity, people take a pledge to do good thoughts and good deeds by giving up their bad habits, bad thoughts, hatred, and dirty practices. Which is called the Pohi which means ‘going’.

Pongal in Tamil means boom or turmoil. On the next day of the Pohi, Pratipada is celebrated as Pongal like Diwali. On the occasion of this auspicious festival, special worship and worship of Lord Surya has special significance, the offerings made to the Sun God on this day are called Pongal. Whereas in the local language of Tamil Nadu, it means to boil well. On this day, by boiling sugar, milk, rice, ghee, etc., preparing food in a traditional way and offering it to the Sun God, it is called Pongal.

When is the festival of Pongal celebrated?

Pongal, one of the major agricultural festivals of India and the major festival of South India, is celebrated every year around Makar Sankranti from 14 to 17 January with full fervour and enthusiasm. Its main festival is celebrated on the Pratipada of Paush month. The celebration of this festival lasts for about 4 days.

In the year 2022, this festival will be celebrated from 14 to 17 January. Bhogi Pongal will be celebrated on January 14, Surya Pongal on January 15, Mattu Pongal on January 16, and Kannum Pongal on January 17.

This festival is a major agricultural festival of South India, on this occasion in South India, the crop gets ready to be harvested, in which people celebrate the festival of Pongal and pray for good yield of upcoming crops. It is celebrated in South India as a festival of prosperity and happiness. The festival of Pongal is directly related to the seasons, so special worship of Sun God, Indra Dev is performed on this festival.

Pongal Festival History:-

Dedicated to greenery, prosperity and prosperity, this festival is one of the oldest and major festivals celebrated in South India. The history of this festival is mentioned in the texts of Sangam literature written from 200 BC to 300 BC. Since then there is a tradition of celebrating this holy festival as a festival of Dravidian harvest. Apart from this, this festival has also been mentioned in the Sanskrit Puranas. Several famous historians have identified the festival with the Thai Niradal and the Thai Un. Along with this, many religious beliefs and mythological stories are associated with this festival.

Beginning of New Year in South India:-

In South India, the Pongal festival marks the beginning of the Tamil New Year. During this, people greet each other on the new year by sweetening their faces.

Traditional dishes cooked on Pongal festival:-

Traditional Pongal delicious dishes are prepared on the special occasion of the Pongal festival. Making a special kind of kheer is of great importance at this festival.

Importance of Boiling Milk on Pongal:-

On the occasion of this festival, milk is boiled in a new vessel, and importance is given to its rise, it is seen by connecting it with the pure mind and good rites of man.

In this way, this holy Pongal festival associated with faith,  and prosperity is celebrated with great enthusiasm and pomp. This festival gives a message to the people to live in harmony with each other with love. Apart from South India, this festival is also celebrated in America, Sri Lanka, Canada, Singapore, and Mauritius.

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