ABOUT THAI PONGAL:
ORIGIN OF THAI PONGAL:
- Pongal is one of the most important festivals in Tamil Nadu. Pongal is an ancient festival, that begins in the Sangam Age of 200 BC to 300 AD.
- It is originally a Dravidian harvest festival. At the time of the Sangam Age, Pongal was celebrated as Thai Niradal in the month of Margazhi.
- Thai Pongal is the thanksgiving festival to the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping farmers in getting better-yielding crops.
TAMIL HINDU PONGAL FESTIVALS AND CELEBRATIONS IN 2023:
- Thai Pongal is a festival which specially dedicated to the harvest and the sun god the farmers.
- During the time of Pongal people used to wake up early in the morning and clean their home entrances and put a colorful Rangoli in front of their home and they visit the temple with their family to seek blessings.
- Then they cook a sweet dish called Pongal. In a clay pot, they pour milk, rice, green gram, jaggery, species, nuts, and dry fruits. Then first they served it to the Lord of the Sun and then they have it with their family.
- The first day of the Pongal is considered Bhogi. This day was when old household things and as well as waste generated particles of agriculture were burnt in a bonfire.
- In Tamil Hindu Pongal Festivals and Celebrations in 2023, bhogi is one of the festivals.
- The bonfire is called Bhogi Mantalu. This bonfire consists of wood and dried cow dung.
- The traditional way of bhogi is similar to Holika Dahan in the northern parts of India.
- People believe this day is the new beginning of their life. The day of Bhogi is also the day when Indra, the God of Rain is worshipped in gratitude for rain that facilitated a good harvest.
THAI PONGAL OR PERUM PONGAL (OR) SURYA PONGAL:
- The second day of the Pongal is dedicated to Lord Surya, the God of the Sun. The main tradition on this day is to cook the sweet dish called Pongal under the Sun.
- The used ingredients to make Pongal are milk, rice, jaggery, ghee, and nuts. This will be offered to Lord Surya along with some sugarcane, bananas, and with coconut, and other harvest products.
- On that day girls take bath early in the morning to draw rangoli in front of their house.
- Mattu Pongal is the third day of Pongal celebrations. It is special for farm animals like cows and bulls. when they are bathed and adorned with garlands. They will be worshipped on that day, which is a day of thanksgiving to the farm animals who helped in harvesting.
- And also there is an interesting story was telling about Mattu Pongal.
- One day when Lord Shiva sent his bull, named basal to the earth to inform all humans to apply oil on their hair and bathe every day and eat once a month.
- Basava mixes up the instruction of lord shiva and tells the human to apply oil once a month and take bath and eat every day. Because of basava`s silly mistake, Lord shiva cursed basal that where he would have to help the humans in fields in order to produce food.
- This is the final day of the four-day festival. Being the last day of Pongal, the farmers will celebrate this day in high spirits. People will worship their elders on that day.
- It is the day for relaxing after the 3 days of festivals. People will enjoy the time with their family and go out with family and friends.
- In the villages, the shop owners will give gifts to their employees as gratitude for their good work.
- Kaanum Pongal day is also known as Virgin Pongal and is celebrated by unmarried girls. Then some other people will gift their housemaids with some new clothes and some money on that day.
WHAT IS PONGAL IN INDIA?:
- Pongal is one of the most popular festivals in India is Pongal and is celebrated widely by the Tamil community across the globe.
- As per the Tamil solar calendar, Pongal is celebrated in Thai month. It is a four-day event that is dedicated to the sun god. It also marks the beginning of uttarayan, the journey of the sun northward.
- Pongal is also observed by the Tamil community across the world in mid-January. It is one of the biggest harvest festivals in India along with Makara Sankranti.
PONGAL IN TAMIL NADU:
- Pongal is celebrated mostly in Tamil Nadu. It is a 4 days celebration. Day one is Bhogi, On that day worshippers will burn their unwanted or old stuff.
- Considering it as the end of the old and the beginning of the new. Day two is Surya Pongal, the most important day of the festival, on the day devotees wake up early and take bath then worship the Sun God.
- Day three is Mattu Pongal, which is dedicated to farm animals like cows and bulls who help farmers harvest crops. Day four is kaanum Pongal, where people will offer foods like milk rice, and sugarcane to the sun god.
PONGAL IN KERALA:
- In Kerala, the state shares a historic culture with the Chera dynasty. It is celebrated on the same day as Tamil Pongal, but it is a limited state holiday which of the districts are Wayanad, Idukki, Pathanamthitta, Palakkad, and Thiruvananthapuram.
- One of the largest pilgrimages which are known as Attukal Bhagavathi Temple is located in Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) will celebrate the Pongal. The month of Pongal is the Malayalam month of Makaram-Kumbham (February-March).
- A large number of women gather in the streets and they cook together and will offer the pongala to the goddess (Parvati or Durga or Kannaki). Then the people in the streets will be offered free food.
IMPORTANT TRADITIONS OF PONGAL:
Pongal is the beginning of the uttarayan when the sun begins its northward journey. This means days start to be longer than nights.
To celebrate this auspicious event, people clean their houses and surroundings and the whole family takes bath early in the morning and wears traditional attire for the four days festival. Women wear sarees or pavada, and the kolam is an important aspect of the festival.
Giving gifts to employees, relatives, family, and friends is also an integral part of Pongal. The gifts given to the laborers for Pongal are called Pongal PADI or Pongal parish. Also one can choose to gift anything, there are some traditional gifts given during Pongal.
HOLIDAYS FOR PONGAL:
- Pongal is a religious holiday in south India for all students and working people, but also it is not a gazetted holiday in India.
- Colleges and schools in those regions remain closed for four days of the festival.
RITUALS FOLLOWED ON PONGAL:
Rituals of Pongal are people worship the sun on this day and prepare the dish Pongal with rice boiled in milk to consider as a successful harvest season and keep the Pongal to the sun before consuming it. Other rituals include lighting crackers, singing and dancing to folklore, and exchanging gifts with the neighbors.
DECORATION ON PONGAL:
On this special day, people would hang mango leaves at the entrance, draw rangoli in their homes, and serve food on banana leaves.
Usually, people draw colorful kolam on Pongal in front of their houses. Kolams are thought to bring prosperity to homes. Rangoli is one of the important parts of the festival Pongal. We will decorate our home for Tamil Hindu Pongal Festivals and Celebrations in 2023.
- Jallikattu, a popular bull-taming sport, which will be held during Pongal, is taking place in the Madurai district.
- Jallikattu is a sport conducted as a part of Mattu Pongal. Bulls are brought to a common place where the rituals take place.
- Then the participants have to embrace the bull’s hump and will try to tame it by bringing the bull to a stop.
- The participants of the jallikattu have to remove the bundle from the animal’s head to win many expensive gifts like gold, silver, etc., Then he would be considered brave and valourous. It is also known as Eru Thazhuvuthal or Manju Virattu.
VARIANTS AND RULES:
Vadi manjuvirattu, This is the common category of jallikattu, the bull will be released from a closed space called Vadi vassal and the participants attempt to wrap their hands around the hump of the bull and hold on to it to win the award. This variant is most common in the districts of
Veli virattu, In this variant the approach is slightly different as the bull is directly released into open ground. The rules are the same as that of Vadi manjuvirattu. This variant is popular in the districts of Siva Ganga and Madurai.
Vatam manjuvirattu, the bull will tie with a 15 m (79 ft) rope in this variant. A team of seven to nine members can attempt to untie the gift taken which is tied to the bull’s horn. The maximum time period given is 30 minutes. Jalli Kutty is special in Tamil Hindu Pongal Festivals and Celebrations in 2023.
IMPORTANT PLACES OF JALLIKATTU:
The main venues in which the jallikattu will take place:
Alanganallur – Madurai District
Avaniyapuram – Madurai District
Palamedu – Madurai District
Thammampatti – Salem District
Thiruvapur – Pudukottai District
Siravayal – Sivagangai District
kandupatti – Sivagangai District
Vendanpatti – Pudukottai District
Pallavarayanpatty – Theni District
Neikarapatti – Palani District