When: During the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere or every January 14
Where: Mainly in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in Southern India,other parts on India also
Pongal is the Indian equivalent of the American Thanksgiving, only longer, more colorful and definitely more boisterous. Households traditionally enjoyed bountiful harvests at the start of the year (Gregorian calendar) and farmers brought home newly harvested rice to feed their cattle with “pongal,” a dish made of rice. The thanksgiving festivities are made in honor of the Hindu sun god Surya, which coincides with the start of the sun’s northward journey to the zodiac Capricorn. Farmers consecrate their grains to the sun god for bountiful harvests to come.
From a seasonal point of view, Pongal 2013 coincides with the withdrawal of monsoon from Southern India. Traditionally, this was also the time for households to clean out their homes, burn down trash, and preparing the household for planting new crops.
About the Event:
Pongal 2013 is a four-day thanksgiving celebration that starts on January 14 and ends in January 17. Households in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in Southern India prepare for the festivities by cleaning and decorating their homes with flowers and rangoli. On the first day, households offer prayers and thanksgiving to the rain god Indra, wear new clothes, and make cow-dung or turmeric flowers and light traditional lamps for Vinakaya. On the second day, households prepare a special sweet rice dish cooked in milk called ‘pongal’ and offer it to the sun god Surya. The cattle, considered holy in Hinduism, are also given their share of ‘pongal.’
On the third day, households dedicate the festivities to cattle which are indispensable part of the Indian village life. These animals are then bathed, decorated and paraded around town to honor their role in good harvest. Cattle-related games, like grabbing a bag full of money from cattle’s horns, are held for young village men.
On the final day of the thanksgiving, families visit their relatives, share food with them, and celebrate the event with music and dance. This is an opportunity for the village to refresh their ties with their expanded families and enjoy the bounty.
Places Where celebrated in India:
- It celebrated as Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu
- It celebrated as Makara Sankranthi or Sankranthi in Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Kerela, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Uttar Pradesh.
- In Gujarat and Rajasthan celebrated as Uttarayana
- In Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab , celebrated as Lohri
- In Assam,It is celebrated as Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu
Jallikattu(Bull taming sport):
Documentary on Jallikattu(Bull taming sport):
Traveling to Southern India during thanksgiving festivities is a boon to vacationers who want to see the celebratory and abundant side of a country highly dependent on agriculture and often portrayed in a negative light. Not only will travelers get to participate in the festivities, they also get to taste various regional dishes that are otherwise hard to come by on regular days.
Pongal offers visitors an opportunity to take part in celebrations that honor the Hindu deities, the earth, the animals, and practically every living being that play a role in good harvest – celebrations that the West have somewhat forgotten.
Anaivarukkum iniya pongal 2013 nalvazhthukkal..!
Wishing you all a very Happy Pongal. May the almighty bless you all with the best of health, wealth & prosperity. With Lots of best wishes from Nowholidays.com Team.!!