Pongal Festival in Tamil Nadu, India - Pictures
Pongal Festival is the prime festival of tamilians which comes on January second week of every year. It has been cordially and cheerfully celebrated among the mass of Tamilians from many past centuries. Every tamilian will prepare his house with colorful paintings and white wash on nearing days of the pongal festival. The people will purchase new cloths to wear on that day.
Pongal festival is celebrated for four days and each day has its own unique name namely Boghi Pongal, veetu Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kanum Pongal.
The concept of Boghi is to burn all the old things of the year and buy new things to welcome Pongal. It comes on the just before day of Veetu Pongal. However the Government of Tamil Nadu strictly prohibited the burning of old things with in the city limits in order to avoid the atmospheric pollution. But in some villages, this festival is cheerfully celebrated with good spirit.
In tamil, veetu means home.
On this day people will wakeup early in the morning and prepare sweet pongal and humbly offer it to God Sun. This is to thank Him who is the primary source of all living beings in the world. Sun is essential for the availability of water and rain in the world which are very important for agriculture. So to thank Him all the farmers and people are preparing sweet pongal and present it to Him with sugarcanes.
Let me tell the method of preparation of sweet pongal, a wonderful and unique recipe of tamilians. To prepare sweet pongal following things are required. Raw rice (prepared from grinding semi boiled paddy)
1/2 kg, Water 1 litre, raw sugar 3/4 kg, dried grapes and Cashew nuts, and Ghee 50 gm. Add raw rice with 1 litre water and boil it in a cooker. After getting boiled mix the raw sugar which has been already chipped cashew nuts, dried grapes and ghee. Sometimes people will do the mistake by adding moong dal which changes the real taste of sweet pongal.
Colorful Rangoli is another attraction to add spirit to the festival. Many women will be interesting in drawing colorful rangolis at the entrance of their homes on the before night of that day. People will send pongal greetings to their friends and relatives to express their love. I have added some of the beautiful pictures of greetings which are associated with the festival. Every greeting is with a poem inside it usually written in tamil. The first page of the greeting is designed with colorful picture. Similar to greetings sugarcanes are also getting more importance on this festival. The sugarcanes available during pongal season are quite different from those cultivated for industrial purposes.
It is celebrated on the next day of Veetu Pongal.
In tamil Mattu means Bull. In olden ages people were using bulls to plough their lands for cultivating purposes. Nowadays the tractors have come to make work easy. Even today in small village’s poor farmers are using their bulls to plough their land. To honour and thank bulls tamilians have been celebrated that day as Mattu Pongal. On this day bulls will be celebrated by paintings on their horns and their body also will be decorated by color powders and flowers. Bulls will be given sweet pongal and sugarcanes to eat. All the tamilians who are having their own bulls in their house which may be used for at least transport purposes will worship them with love.
On the evening of the day the bulls will be prepared for bull fight. This is the major attraction of Pongal festival which is noted for the courage of tamilians. The strong bulls will take part in the occasion and the men who are bold to fight with them will dare to win the prizes which will have been tied on the horns of bulls. Alanganallur near Madurai is famous for the bull fights where the bulls from the various parts of the state will be brought to conduct bull fight. Foreigners from various parts of the world also will come to Alanganallur to enjoy safely this bull fight. During the bull fight many people who are involved will be seriously injured and also killed. Even then it is conducted every year in some important places of Tamil Nadu as it being the trational and courageous celebration.
In tamil kanum means to see and wish.
This is the fourth day of Pongal Festival. On that day people used to meet their friends and relatives to convey their wishes. In Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu thousands of people will be assembled at Marina Beach to enjoy this day. It is also celebrated in many villages of Tamil Nadu.