Pongal Festival , Tamil Nadu
|2023||Jan 15 – 18 , 2023|
|2024||To be announced|
Pongal is one of the most popular cultural festivals of South India, celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is an annual festival, celebrated in mid-January to celebrate the beginning of the summer season. Pongal is referred as the harvest festival in Tamil Nadu. It also marks the beginning of the Tamil month called Thai and hence, in South, Pongal festival is also referred as the Thai festival. It is a 4-day long celebration which is celebrated by the Tamilians with great vigour and enthusiasm. Pongal festival in today’s time has become one of the best festival tours of India as many travellers from other parts of India also visit this state during this time to enjoy the festival. Pongal festival 2023 dates are from 15th January to 18th January.
History of the Pongal festival
Pongal, the harvest festival is also considered as an auspicious festival where people show gratitude to the Almighty and Nature for a bountiful harvest and seek His blessings for the coming year. It is the end of the farming season and mark the beginning of Uttarayan when Sun moves Northwards. It is celebrated with great zeal, which both the locals and the tourists enjoy and look forward to the celebrations every year. The origin of the festival is traced back to 200 B.C. to 300 A.D., where it has been mentioned in Sanskrit Puranas as a Dravidian harvest festival.
Celebrations of the Pongal festival
Pongal is a 4-day long festival and each day has its own significance, marked by different festivities and rituals.
Day 1: Bhogi Pongal< /strong>
The first day of the Pongal festival is called Bhogi. Bhogi is the day dedicated to Lord Indra—the God of rain and clouds. The day is also referred as Indran. Farmers worship Lord Indra on this day for a good harvest. The prayers are to seek His blessings for wealth and prosperity for the entire year. People discard all old things at home on this day to welcome the year with new stuff. Houses are cleaned and decorated with flowers and kolams.
Day 2: Surya Pongal< /strong>
The second day is the main Pongal festival day and is known as Surya Pongal. On this day, the Sun God is worshipped. Colourful decorative kolams or rangolis are drawn at the entrance of one’s home. Cooking of Pongal is mandatory in each household at auspicious timings. Pongal is the boiled sweet rice dish prepared during the festival. The word “Pongal” is derived from the Tamil word Pongo, which means “spilling over” or “to boil over”. This is one factor which is always kept in mind while preparing Pongal, the rice cooked with milk and jaggery. As the milk spills freely over the pot, laughter and happiness echo all around, and family members shout out “Pongalo Pongal”. The Pongal rice is first offered to the Sun God before serving it to others. This day is also the first day of the Tamil month Thai.
Day 3: Maatu Pongal< /strong>
Maatu Pongal is the third day of Pongal festival. This day is dedicated to worship, honour and thank the cattle (called as Maatu in Tamil) for their role in providing a good harvest. Cows are bathed in the river side and then adorned with garlands, jewellery, bells, their horns polished and painted in bright colours. After bathing and worshipping the cows, Pongal rice is offered to them and the birds.
Day 4: Kanuum Pongal< /strong>
The fourth day of Pongal is called Kaanum Pongal. This is a community celebration. Friends, families, relatives, neighbours celebrate together on this day to strengthen ties. Delicious delicacies are prepared and all gather to have a sumptuous meal. Several community events like as cock fights, bullfights are organized and community dinners are prepared from the newly harvested crops and relished by all. The day is also dedicated for traditional Indian folk dances like mayilattam and kolattam.
Visiting Tamil Nadu during the Pongal Festival time has its own unique charm and is one of the best times to visit the state. Four days filled with fun, happiness and festivities can be enjoyed by the tourists in the entire state, along with regular sightseeing of the state’s attractive tourist destinations. You can book in advance affordable travel packages for Pongal festival with the best Inbound Travel Operators in India and explore the fun activities and celebrations of Pongal in Tamil Nadu.