Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Pongal Festival

Pongal Festival - A festival celebrated in Southern part of India.
The first day of Pongal known as 'Bhogi Pongal' is a day for family gathering and is dedicated to Lord Indra. A huge bonfire of useless things in home is lit. The houses are then cleaned till they shine and are decorated with kolams.

The second day of Pongal known as 'Surya Pongal' is dedicated to the Sun God. The granaries are kept full on this day and Sun God with his rays are painted on a plank as he is worshipped with the birth of the new auspicious month of Thai (Tamil month). A special dish is cooked on this day in a new mud-pot that comes in innovative shapes and have artistic designs on them called 'Pongapani'. A colorful sugarcane market is also set up on this day.

The third day known as 'Mattu Pongal' is dedicated to the cattle as cowherds and shepherds pay thanks to their cows and bulls, wash them, paint their horns and cover them with shining metal caps. They are fed 'pongal' and tinkling bells are tied around their neck. Cattle races are conducted and in the game called 'Manji Virattu' groups of young men chase running bulls. Bull fights called 'Jallikattu' are also arranged at some places where young men have to take the money bags tied to the horns of ferocious bulls single-handedly and without the use of arms.

Hello catch this Bull...

The fourth day is celebrated as 'Kanni Pongal' when unmarried girls cooks Ponggal wishing for wedding bells soon.
Its always necessary to get blessings from elders.. Don miss it..

Wish you all Happy Pongal..