Pongal festival rituals | Fusion - WeRIndia

Pongal festival rituals

Pongal festival rituals

Pongal is the harvest festival. It is celebrated with great joy and devotion by the people of India. As the festival is mainly associated with the nature, the Gods that represent nature are worshipped during the festival. In one word it can be concluded that Pongal is a thanksgiving festival to nature.

Pongal festival is mainly celebrated for four days from January 13 to 16. The festival is also called Makara Sankranti due to the transit of Sun into ‘Makara’ (Capricorn) zodiac sign.

Several rituals are performed during this festival.

The first day is Bhogi festival. It is dedicated to Lord Indra who is believed to be the chief ruler of clouds which bring rains for crops. In some places Lord Krishna is worshipped on this day. Old and useless household articles are thrown into a bonfire made with wood and cow dung cakes. People take baths on this day and wear new clothes.

The second day is the main festival, Pongal. It is dedicated to Lord Sun. People offer prayers to Lord Surya. They wear new clothes and make traditional recipes especially Pongal with rice, milk and jaggery.

The third day is Mattu Pongal. It is dedicated to cattle which help in getting good harvest. On this day, cattle, especially cows and bullocks are worshipped. Their horns are painted and covered with metal caps. They are decorated beads, flowers and bells. Cattle races are conducted in many places. Bull fights like ‘Jallikattu’ are being held. People worship Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati on this day.

The fourth day is Kaanum Pongal. This day is intended for relaxation. People visit the homes of their relatives and friends.

They exchange gifts to one another.

They also enjoy folk dance performances with songs and music. Some even go to picnics for relaxation.

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