Pongal is a festival of happiness and prosperity. It is celebrated in South India and mainly in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. Pongal is celebrated at the same time in South India when Northern India celebrates Makar Sankranti. According to the Tamil Calender, Pongal falls in the month of Thai. Pongal 2023 is starting from 14th Jan 2023 to 18th January 2023.
Celebrated during the solar equinox, the four-day period of Pongal is also known as Uttarayanam and Thai Pongal. In Tamil, Pongal means “boom” or “to boil”. In South India, Pongal marks the beginning of the new year because during this time Sun moves out of Sagittarius and enters Capricorn. Pongal is one of the most important harvest festivals of South India in which people offer prayings to the Sun God to bless them with a good harvest and prosperity.
Praying for rain, sunlight, agriculture and nature during Pongal is also considered auspicious by people. On the occasion of Pongal, people decorate their homes, perform rituals of bathing, wish their friends & family and exchange gifts to express their gratitude and happiness. On Pongal, people use to prepare scrumptious and delicious dishes and enjoy them together. Some of the special dishes that are made on Pongal are Sugarcane Pongal, Ven Pongal, Tamarind Rice, Medu Vada and many more.
In Southern India, it is believed that Pongal brings happiness, prosperity and godspeed into the lives of people. This is why this is also the most auspicious time for wedding ceremonies.
The celebrations of Pongal take place on different days:
|Bhogi Pongal||14 January 2023||Saturday|
|Surya Pongal||15 January 2023||Sunday|
|Mattu Pongal||16 January 2023||Monday|
|Kanum Pongal||17 January 2023||Tuesday|
All four days of Pongal have their own importance and significance:
Day 1: Bhogi Pongal
The first day of Pongal is known as Bhogi Pongal. On this day, people offer their prayers to Lord Indra and seek his blessing for rain yielding a good harvest. People celebrate Bhogi Pongal by cleaning and decorating their houses.
Day 2: Surya Pongal
The second Day is celebrated as Surya Pongal or Thai Pongal by worshipping the Sun God. People seek the blessing of the Sun God by offering milk and jaggery. Surya Pongal is observed as the main day of a four-day-long festival. Sakkararai Pongal and other sweet dishes are made on this day.
Day 3: Mattu Pongal
The third day of Pongal is dedicated to cattle like cows, bulls and other farm animals that play a significant role in contributing to agriculture. It is known as Mattu Pongal.
Day 4: Kaanum Pongal
The fourth day is Kaanum Pongal. It is a day dedicated to enjoyment and joy. On this day, people greet their friends & family and exchange gifts and sweets.
Mythological Tale Behind Pongal
Two mythological stories are associated with the festival of Pongal. One famous story behind Pongal is of Lord Krishna and Lord Indra. It is said that once upon a time, Lord Indra flooded the village of Gokula out of rage. Then, Lord Krishna lifted the entire mountain of Govardhana on his little finger and saved the people of Gokula. And finally, God Indra forgave the people of the village and redeemed them with prosperity.
Another story associated with Pongal is the story of Nandi, the bull of Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva asked Nandi Ji to go to Earth and spread the message to people that they should eat once a month and bath daily. But Nandi did the opposite and conveyed the wrong message to the people that they should eat every day and bath once a month. This enraged lord Shiva and he cursed him to forever live on Earth and help people to plough the land to produce more food to fulfil their needs. And that is also the reason why Bulls are worshipped on this day.
Festivals In The Month Of January
|Lohri||13th January 2023||Friday|
|Makar Sankranti||14th January 2023||Saturday|
|Pongal||15th-18th January 2023||Sunday-Wednesday|
|Republic Day||26th January 2023||Thursday|