Pongal Quick Facts

Festival NamePongal (पोंगल)
Festival Date14-15 January 2024
Festival TypeCultural
Festival LevelGlobal
Festival Observed byTamil Hindu and Others

History of Pongal

Pongal festival is a traditional success festival celebrated mainly in South India. This festival is usually celebrated on 14th January or 15th January. The festival of Pongal is mainly celebrated in honor of Lord Surya Narayana, the ruler of planets.

The history of the Pongal festival dates back thousands of years and is considered an important part of the country life of South India. This festival is primarily based on the specialty of the farmers and is celebrated as an appreciation and blessing of the maize crop.

Story of Pongal

Story of Pongal and Devraj Indra

Pongal is called Bhogi Pongal which is dedicated to Devraj Indra. It is called Bhogi Pongal because Devraj Indra is considered to be a deity who indulges in enjoyment. On this day in the evening, people bring old clothes, garbage etc. from their homes and collect them at a place and burn them. It shows the feeling of respect towards God and the end of evils. Around this fire, the youth play the Bhogi Kottam, a type of drum made of buffalo horn, throughout the night.

Surya Pongal

Pongal is called Surya Pongal. This is requested to Lord Surya. A special type of kheer called Pongal is made on this day, which is made of rice prepared from new paddy, moong dal and jaggery in an earthen pot. After the Pongal is prepared, special worship is done to the Sun God and he is offered this Pongal and sugarcane in the form of Prasad and gratitude is expressed for giving the crop.

Significance of Pongal

Pongal is an important harvest festival celebrated in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Here are some of the major reasons why Pongal holds such significance:

  1. Harvest Festival: Pongal marks the end of the farming season and the harvesting of crops, especially It is a symbol of rice harvesting. It is a time when farmers rejoice at the fruits of their labor and celebrate nature's abundance. The festival serves as a reminder of the important role of agriculture in sustaining communities.
  2. Thanks to the Sun God: Pongal is dedicated to the god Surya, the Sun God, who is the life-giver and agriculturist. They are revered as a source of energy for activities. Farmers express gratitude to the Sun God for providing sunlight and nourishment to their crops, ensuring a successful harvest.
  3. Expressing gratitude to cattle:Pongal Agriculture There is also an opportunity to acknowledge the contribution of cattle. Farmers decorate their cattle with garlands, put colorful marks on them, and offer special treats as a token of gratitude. This gesture highlights the symbiotic relationship between farmers and their livestock.
  4. Cultural significance: Pongal is not just a harvest festival; It is a time for families to come together and celebrate. It strengthens family bonds, as relatives gather to prepare and share a traditional meal. The festival is marked by vibrant decorations, traditional dress, music, dance and various cultural activities.

How to celebrate Pongal

The festival of Pongal begins on the fourth day and lasts for four days. Pongal can be celebrated in many ways :-

  1. Worship of Lord Surya: Worship of Lord Surya On the day of Pongal people worship Lord Surya. Arghya (water) is offered to the sun and obeisances are offered to it. It is the birth of a wish for agricultural success and increase in wealth.
  2. Making Pongal: The main dish of Pongal is "Pongal" which is made of rice, moong dal, jaggery and milk. Mixing takes place. A large vessel is used to cook this dish. First of all, you cook rice and moong dal in rice. Then jaggery and milk are mixed and boiled. When the mixture begins to boil and the vessel appears to be full, the tab log "Pongal! Pongal!" Slogans are raised.
  3. Kolam Rangoli: On the occasion of Pongal, Kolam Rangoli is drawn around the house and in front of the door. Rangoli powder, rice, Rangoli colors are used in Kolam Rangoli. This Rangoli is one of the main ways to decorate the house and it seems to be a symbol of happiness and peace.
  4. Mattu Pongal: The second day of Pongal is known as "Mattu Pongal", in which snakes and other animals are worshipped. The animals are decorated with beautiful clothes and flowers. He is garlanded and given special offerings.

Tradition and customs of Pongal

The customs of celebrating Pongal come in different stages, which make this festival memorable:

  1. Bhogi: The first day of Pongal is called Bhogi Is. On this day thanksgiving is expressed by sacrificing old clothes, household and property. People clean the houses and decorate their homes by buying new carpets or clothes.
  2. Surya Puja: The second day is called Surya Puja, when people offer prayers to the Sun God. Give thanks. They organize their worship material on the terrace of their houses and focus towards the Sun. The day is considered auspicious and people spend to buy new carpets or clothes and decorate the house.
  3. Pongal making: The third day is called the day of making Pongal. People make a special Pongal meal using basic rice, moong dal, cumin, ghee, and sugar. This food is prepared in special utensils and in front of the audience. After this, this food is offered to the Sun God and distributed as Prasad.
  4. Matsya Puja: The fourth day is called Matsya Puja, when people worship fish. They thank the fish god and offer him water and rice as prasad.

After these rituals are over, people celebrate Pongal with their family and friends.

More info about Pongal

Pongal is a traditional festival, but it is slowly changing and making an impact in the social, family and cultural milieu:

Pongal festival is now celebrated abroad with great pomp and show. Foreign residents of the Tamil community are also including it in their major festivals. Due to this, the discussion of the festival is becoming world-class and the ideals of organizing Pongal can be seen in different regions as well. The festival is now being followed in various communities.

It is not limited solely to the Tamil community, but is also exerting influence in other Indian states and communities. Due to this diversity and social harmony is being enacted. The effects of modernity are also being seen in the celebration of Pongal. People get dressed in their colorful and attractive clothes, cultural programs and various competitions are organized, and it is celebrated in an organized manner.

List of major festivals:

Date Festival Name
25 March 2024Holi
14-15 January 2024Pongal
14 February 2024Vasant Panchami
8 March 2024 Maha Shivratri
15 November 2023Bhai Dooj
28 June 2023Eid al-Adha
17 November 2023 – 20 November 2023Chhath Puja
23 May 2024Buddha Purnima
7 September 2023Janmashtmi
19 September 2023Ganesh Chaturthi
12 November 2023Diwali
27 November 2023Gurupurab
11 September 2023 – 18 September 2023Paryushana
10 – 11 April 2024Eid al-Fitr

Pongal FAQs:

This year Pongal festival is on 14-15 January 2024.

Pongal is a Cultural festival, Which is celebrated every year with great enthusiasm.

Pongal is celebrated every year by people of Tamil Hindu and Others religions/communities.

Pongal is a Global level festival, which is mainly celebrated by people of Tamil Hindu and Others religions/communities.

  Last update :  Thu 8 Jun 2023
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  Post Category :  Festivals & Customs