Pongal: The Harvest Festival

India breathes with agriculture. As the main occupation of thousands, agriculture takes an upper hand and so does the festival associated with it. Pongal is one such festival, which is celebrated with great pomp and show in Southern part of India. This is also known as the festival of harvest as during this, farmers pray to Sun God and other Gods who they believe help them for the harvest.

About the festival:
The festival of Pongal goes on for four days. Bogi Pongal begins Pongal, which is the first day of the festival. On this day, farmers pay homage to the God of Earth and Sun God. Pongal is also the traditional food, which is savored on the festival days. Made up of rice and milk, the food is a major part of the festival celebration. Perum Pongal or Surya Pongal takes place on the second day of the Pongal celebration. On this day, people pray to the Sun God, and his associates, Samgnya and Chaya. Old things like clothes and other articles are got rid of on this day. People apply oil on them and wear new clothes on this day. The third day of the festival is called, Mattu Pongal. On this day, farmers worship their cattles. The creatures are cleaned and decorated. The food of Pongal is served to them too. Day four of the festival is Kaanum Pongal or Thiruvalluvar Day. The fourth day of the festival is celebrated by visiting family and friends and performing rituals and prayers.

Pongal celebration:
Pongal is mainly a South-Indian festival, which is celebrated world-wide. Mainly observed as the festival of harvest, there are various fairs and competitions held at various locations in India. In some of the villages, there are cattle-fairs. Several God’s and Goddesses are prayed on this day. Since, it is the festival of harvest; farmers are the ones who eagerly await this festival. They clean and decorate their homes, farm and cattles and cook traditional food. There are family functions, dance and other programs apart from the usual customary actions.

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