Wishing each of us a very Happy Pongal /Makara Sankranti !
What is Pongal?
PONGAL , the harvest festival is dedicated to the Sun God, Surya celebrated by the Tamil people in the South of India for four days .It is observed at the start of the month Thai according to the Tamil solar calendar. This festival corresponds to Makara Sankranti, the harvest festival under many regional names celebrated throughout India
What does “Pongal” the festival represent?
According to tradition, the festival marks the end of the winter solstice, and the start of the sun’s six-month-long journey northwards (the Uttaraayanam) when the sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara (Capricorn).
What & Why is the dish “Pongal” prepared on this festival?
The festival is named after the ceremonial “Pongal”, which means “to boil, to overflow” and refers to the traditional dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery (raw sugar).To mark the festival, “Pongal” the sweet dish is prepared and first offered to the Sun God in a prayer of gratitude, thanking him for the abundance of crop he provided us on our lands by shining bright and warm, all through the year.
How do people in South India celebrate Pongal?
This prayer is followed by an offering to cows/cattle that helped us till our lands( in olden days the ox and the plough were used to till our farmlands, while the cows in the farm provided our families milk for sustenance and growth).In Hinduism, veneration of the cow is believed to instill the virtues of gentleness, receptivity and connectedness with nature.
Festive celebrations include decorating the cow’s horns with bright & beautiful paints, ritual bathing of the cattle in the rivers , garlanding them with flowers and holding processions celebrating the cattle and the farm hands that helped us harvest our bounty.
Homes are traditionally decorated with rice-powder based kolam artworks, offering prayers in the home, temples, getting together with family and friends, and exchanging gifts to renew social bonds of solidarity.
What is the significance of the Pongal festival?
May we always, always celebrate the return of the LIGHT wherever we are on the globe.LIGHT represents the presence of the Almighty, the purest form of energy, knowledge, goodness, positivity, hope, life.
Here’s wishing each of us a Happy Pongal/Makara Sankaranti.
இனிய பொங்கல் நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!
*This year Pongal, the harvest festival celebrations start today on January 15 and end on January 18th, 2020)
Why is it important to celebrate Pongal? (irrespective of where we are in the globe!)
Pongal is a festival celebrated each year to remind us ,that we all are a part of the whole, and that we each have a role to play in showing respect for all life, human, animals and nature. May we never forget this !
Some of my links to previously published posts related to this Indian festival , Pongal are listed below for your interest :
For more on Indian Festivals and their significance, sharing my previously published posts below for your interest :