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What is pongal

What is Pongal? Why it is a Harvest Festival?

Pongal comes from the word ‘ponga’ which literally means ‘boil’ and so ‘pongal’ connotes ‘spillover’ or that which is ‘overflowing’. It’s also the name of the special sweet dish cooked on the Pongal day. Pongal continues through the first four days of the ‘Thai’ month that starts on January 14 every year.

Pongal is directly associated with the annual cycle of seasons. It not only marks the reaping of the harvest, but also the withdrawal of the southeast monsoons in southern India. As the cycle of season rings out the old and ushers in the new, so is the advent of Pongal connected with cleaning up the old, burning down rubbish, and welcoming in new crops.

Pongal is the harvest festival celebrated in the Southern parts of India of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. This festival is equivalent to the Makar Sankranti celebrated in North India and is celebrated for three days. Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Mattu Pongal, are the three days of Pongal festivities on successive days. In certain parts cattle races still enliven the village festivities. Pongal is a colorful and traditional festival with many ceremonies devoted to various deities. Sun God is worshiped on this festival as the Sun helps in the growth of the paddy and other plantations. The houses are cleaned, and all maintenance jobs are done before this festival. During the three-day festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning. Sun God is worshiped on this festival as the Sun helps in the growth of the paddy and other plantations. The houses are cleaned, and all maintenance jobs are done before this festival. During the three-day festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning.

पोंगल का त्योहार कृषि एवं फसल से सम्बन्धित देवताओं को समर्पित है। इस त्योहार का नाम पोंगल इसलिए है,क्योंकि इस दिन सूर्य देव को जो प्रसाद अर्पित किया जाता है वह पोगल कहलाता है। तमिल भाषा में पोंगल का एक अन्य अर्थ निकलता है “अच्छी तरह उबालना”। दोनों ही रूप में देखा जाए तो एक बात निकल कर यह आती है कि अच्छी तरह उबाल कर सूर्य देवता को प्रसाद भोग लगाना। पोंगल का महत्व इसलिए भी है, क्योकि यह तमिल महीने की पहली तारीख को आरम्भ होता है। इस पर्व के महत्व का अंदाज़ा इस बात से भी लगाया जा सकता है कि यह चार दिनों तक चलता है। हर दिन के पोंगल का अलग-अलग नाम होता है।

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