Pongal is a three-day harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Magha means the month of Thai (Thai means the January-February month) when paddy crop is harvested. The term ‘Pongal’ in Tamil means “to boil”, and this festival is celebrated as gratitude toward god or goddess for the years of a successful harvest.
Pongal also happens to be the name of a dish consumed during this festive time, which is sweetened rice boiled with lentils.
“Slowly and eventually importance of everything fades away”- a famous quote which truly depicts the changing scenario. As we know things are carried generation to generation but not in the same ways, still, there are some tools which give us the chance the life as our ancestors did.
One of the most significant Festival is Pongal which not only is celebrated but is lived, It is the festival where hard-working and the importance of resources are praised, worshipped and valued.
Festival is a tool which brings life to a state of exuberance and enthusiasm. No matter how busy are we but still wait for festivals to come.
In our Indian culture, there was a time when there used to be a festival every day of the year. If it was plugging, it was a kind of celebration, tomorrow was planting day, then another kind of celebration, the wedding day was a celebration and harvesting, of course, is still a celebration. But because of some multidimensional challenges like poverty, people are not able to celebrate every day. They are satisfied if they just get some simple food to eat. So all the festivals fell away and only a few are left.
If we think about this mythological aspect we can derive one factual aspect that is if we want to have something we have to work on it. Nothing can be achieved just by watching and waiting, we’ve to work and that so happily that we can enjoy the reward.
The main thing about Pongal is that it is a festival for everyone as we all have the Sun as the source of energy and we are dependent on Farmers for the crops which is not particular to any place but are used all over the world. Everyone has to eat to survive and this festival focuses on the hard-working of the farmers, animals and the cooperation of the Gods in providing required climatic conditions for the better crops.
As we are only left with few festivals and our traditions are being dominated by the changes, we should try to keep and value the meaning of each Festival, its significance and the practice of celebration. Unfortunately, we are more focused to the idols, decorations, shopping and other secondary things rather than knowing about the facts, and its effects. This recklessness will definitely lead us towards the absence of customs, rituals, beliefs, traditions, exchange of information and most importantly our unity for which we Indians are known.
Also Read: Essay On Independence Day For Students
Why we celebrate Pongal by 4 days:-
Pongal celebrated by 4-days because Pongal classified with a different name on every four days. Each day have on own importance, Name of each day of Pongal given below:-
First day:- Bhogi Pongal
Second day:- Perum Pongal
Third day:- Mattu Pongal
Fourth day:-Kaanum Pongal
The Bhogi festival is celebrated in thankful of Lord Indra for the prosperity of harvest, he is known as the god of rain. On this day we clean our house completely, decorate our house with rangoli and painted with a white paste prepared from freshly took rice with the contour of red mud. Crops are also cut-down this day.
Worshipping of Sun:-
A special puja held on the first day Bhogi of Pongal. Farmers worship the sun and the earth, anointing their ploughs and sickles with sandalwood paste before cutting their farms. It is with these blessed tools that the freshly harvested rice cut.
Another rituals is performed this day known as Bhogi Mantalu, during which useless items of the household are tossed into a bonfire traditionally made of cow dung cakes and wood. Women are singing and dancing around the Bonfire. These indicate we would take the last warm-up from farm waste before going winter. There is another story behind the fire. From the day of Sankranti, the sun goes to Uttarayana. This causes a sudden start of solar heat. The body is struggling to protect with this sudden change in atmospheric temperature. This can cause health problems, so the body prepares for the upcoming change with a bonfire.
Perum is also as Surya Pongal. This day we worship lord Surya (sun). Women are decorating their courtyard of home with a paste prepared from Rice. This day, a special ritual is performed that rice and milk are boiled together in an earthen clay pot – to which a turmeric plant is tied – out in the open as an offering to the sun god. Along with this, sticks of sugarcane, coconuts and bananas are also used. They look so beautiful together, sticks of different plant create the ethereal perfect environment.
Another important significance of this day is the kolam, the traditional design hand-drawn at the entrance of houses with lime powder. This incredible drawing must be done early in the morning and only after a bath.
The word ‘mattu’ in Tamil signifies ‘the bull’ so, Mattu celebration is dedicated toward cattle’s. The cattle are ornate with bells, sheaves of corn and garlands and worshipped.
What is the special dish of Mattu Pongal?
The special dish on this day is known by the name of Sakkar Pongal, it is prepared by moong dal , cooked rice, dry fruits and jaggery.
Legend said that once Shiva sent his bull ‘Basava’ with a message to take oil massage and bath daily and eat once in a month, but ’Basava’ mistakenly announce eat daily and take oil massage and bath once in a month. By which lord Shiva become angry.
Enraged, Shiva banished ‘Basava’ to the earth forever, cursing he would have to plough the fields to help people produce more food. Hence, the link of this day to cattle.
So, According to the Hindus, the celebration of Mattu Pongal is linked directly with that of Lord Shiva and his bull.
Kaanum (or Kanu) Pongal known for the last day of Pongal. Kanum means ‘seeing’. This day people outing with their family and friends. On this day, a ritual is celebrated where the leftover sweet Pongal and other food are set out in the courtyard on a washed turmeric leaf, along with betel leaves, betel nuts and sugar cane. This day is also known as Thiruvalluvar Dinam
Women of the household carry out this ritual in the name of their brothers, asking for their prosperity. This day is associated with a tribute to other members of families. Last day of Pongal teaches us important of relatives, teachers, friends and family in our life. This day suffice a love among human beings and their society.
Significance of Pongal
Why we celebrate Pongal? Basically, this festival celebrated as a harvesting festival, We perform many rituals together. We worship many gods like Indra, Surya, Shiva and etc. This festival brings us together. We got united and enjoying the festival and give respect to each other. This festival also associated with the importance of cattle and aware us about sanitation and decoration. We also give acknowledge our tools which are used during harvesting. I love This awesome festival. Wish you all ‘Happy Pongal’ .