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The harvest festival Thai Pongal of Tamilnadu

Updated on January 10, 2017
radhikasree profile image

Radhika has great affinity for celebrating festivals. She is also curious to know how communities rejoice in the festivities.

Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal | Source

Tamil Nadu, the South Indian state of India wakes up hearing the phrase ‘Pongalo Pongal’ everywhere on the day of this festival. ‘Thai’ is the harvest month (spring) of Tamil people and the first day of this month is celebrated with great zest and fervor in the name ‘Pongal’. Thai Pongal denotes the transition of sun into the next zodiac sign Capricorn (Makara). The festivalis celebrated in the name ‘Makar Sankranti’ in North India.

The solar date of Thai Pongal is always the same every year that is January 14th. Pongal means ‘overflow’ that means richness or abundance. Tamil people boil milk in a traditional way outdoors when sun rises early in the morning. Then it is kept for overflow forming bubbles when everyone echoes ‘Pongalo Pongal’ in the air. The festival is dedicated to Sun God for his blessings.

Rangoli put during Makar Sankranti
Rangoli put during Makar Sankranti | Source

Do you know?

The solar date of Thai Pongal is always the same every year that is January 14th. Pongal means ‘overflow’ that means richness or abundance. Tamil people boil milk in a traditional way outdoors when sun rises early in the morning.

Celebrations

There are several customs followed for celebrating this auspicious day. Thai Pongal is celebrated to please 'Surya'(Sun) God as he is regarded as the primary source of energy for harvest in agriculture. Tamil people decorate their homes with banana and mango leaves. Preparing sweet Pongal dish is the important part of the celebrations.

Pongal is prepared in the courtyard in earthen pots during sunrise. This sweet dish is made by cooking rice in milk and jaggery. Then exchange of sweets and greetings takes place with others living in the neighborhood.

Putting ‘Kolam’ in the courtyard is an important custom of the female folks on the Pongal Eve. Using rice flour, several decorative designs are drawn to fill the courtyard as part of the celebrations.


Sarkkarai Pongal
Sarkkarai Pongal | Source

Sweet memories of Pongal in my native place

The harvest festival Pongal cheers me with some sweet memories of my native place. My mother used to put lovely designs called ‘Kolam’ to fill the courtyard on Pongal Eve. We all would gather there having a chitchat comprising of jokes, local news and some songs. Till night 1 o’ clock she continues the designing process with her artistic fingers moving swiftly to end up with a visually appealing design.

She wakes up very early in the morning to boil milk and make Pongal sweet. The taste of that sweet Pongal dish still lingers my mouth. Then she wakes up her daughters for getting ready to go to temple.

People celebrate Pongal in the name of Makar Sankranti herein Mumbai. They have the custom of flying kites high up in the air in the evenings that I can spot very rare from my flat. I just go to temple and pray to have a happy and prosperous year ahead.


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Thai Pongal celebrations

© 2014 Radhika Sreekanth

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    • radhikasree profile image
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      Radhika Sreekanth 8 months ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Chitrangada,

      My pleasure!!

      Thank you so much for reading this hub on Pongal festival. Hope you had a great time during celebrating Makarsankranthi. We too had a wonderful time as always.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Excellent hub about the festival of Pongal ! I am happy I discovered it on the right day.

      I have many South Indian friends and therefore I am aware how it is celebrated and what delicacies are prepared on this auspicious and joyful festival. All Indians celebrate the harvest festival , although the names may be different. Isn't it wonderful!

      We will be celebrating Makar Sankranti on 14 th January. Wish you a Very Happy Pongal! Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative hub!

    • profile image

      Pongal Paanai 2 years ago

      Thanks Radhika Akka.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thank you Eiddwen...you're most welcome..

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      So very interesting and thank you for sharing.

      Eddy.

    • radhikasree profile image
      Author

      Radhika Sreekanth 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Thanks Ruby for commenting as always. Life is yet to cover a lot of stories and who knows someday you may have the fortune to visit India? So be optimistic and wish you a new year filled with happiness and prosperity ahead.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I always enjoy learning about different cultures. This sounds like a fun filled celebration along with the festival. I know I will never see India, but your hubs let us see the beauty and customs of the area. Thank you for sharing..