“Pongal” is the name of the festival and also the name of the dish cooked on this day. “Ponga” means to overflow with abundance, so the wishes for this day & here on, is may all the good things in your life overflow in abundance, to signify this truth, Rice, the staple food of South Indian’s is cooked in earthen ware pots in the farm where it is cultivated, where man and cattle worship in reverence and gratitude to the elements of nature, the Sun God, the rains, the wind and everything in between that served the farmer in his land to grow a bountiful crop that year. The joy is shared by distributing the sweetened meal, signifying all the relationships between the farmers and their farm help, always stays sweet & pleasant.The cattle is fed first coz in the days of yore when the cattle was used to plough the fields, bounty started at the willingness of the cattle to move forward to help man. Love this festival for the joy it brings and for the simple reason that in front of the Almighty ,man and cattle and the elements of nature are all one, together we harvest a bounty!
Here is the recipe of the Sweet Pongal made especially on this day, from my blog posted a few years ago.Enjoy!