The festival of Pongal signifies the great diversity of Indian
religious beliefs and the varied cultured traditions of the different
Pongal, known as Sankaranthi in North India, is is an important festival as
we pray to the Sun God on this occasion. The sun is very powerful and helps
in the growth of the paddy and other plantations. So this festival is very
important for farmers and it is celebrated in a grand manner in villages.
The house is cleaned, and all maintenance jobs are done before this
This festival of Pongal falls in the month of January after the winter
solstice and as such this Pongal festival marks the favorable course of the
Sun. During the four day festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn
in front of the houses early in the morning.
The first day is celebrated as the Bhogi Pongal and is usually meant for
domestic activities and of being together with the family members. This
first day is celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, the supreme ruler of clouds
that give rains. Homage is paid to Lord Indra for the abundance of harvest,
thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land.
The second day of Pongal is known as Surya Pongal and is dedicated to the
Sun God. On this day the granaries are full, sun shines brightly, trees are
in full bloom, bird-songs resound in the air and hearts overflow with
happiness that get translated into colorful and joyous celebrations.
The third day is Mattu Pongal which is the festival of cattle. To the
village people cow, the giver of milk and the bull which draws the plough in
the fields are very valuable and therefore the farmers honor their dumb
friends by celebrating it as a day of thanks-giving to them. On the Mattu
Pongal day Lord Ganesh and Goddess Parvati are worshipped and Pongal is
offered to them in the `puja'.
Fourth day is known as Kaanum Pongal. On this day, people go out for places
and enjoy this day. This is a day to spend time and entertainment outside.
Pongal is a festival when god is praised with a simple faith and sincerity.
Old vices are all washed out and all that is good is welcomed in this New
year. This festival is of all living things, of man, his beast and his crop
and of the birds that fly in the sky making man look up to the heaven in joy
and thankfulness to God