As a country that relies on harvest, days of festivities are singled out to thank the Sun god for their sanctifications such as Pongal in south India, Luira and Bihu in northeast India and Makar Sankranti in other parts of the country. The festivities go on for four days, Bhogi Pongal, Perum Pongal, Thai Pongal and Maattu Pongal. On this day people flying kites, bonfires, organising fairs, surya puja in river, feast, arts, dance, socialization and so on. Celebrated on the third day of the Tamil month Thai or the beginning of the Sun’s northward shift called Uttarayan, Pongal, which falls in mid-January every year dates back as old as the medieval Chola Empire days.
How Pongal is celebrated:
On Pongal day farmers prepare items like Pongal, Shakkara Pongal, sugarcane is offered. With the rising sun, the day is day is greeted with ringing bells, rhythmic beats of drums and the echoing sounds of conch shells. First day of the festival which is called Bhogi is when people discard old belongings and welcome new items. Farmers, for which this festival is highly significant, burn their old household materials in fire chanting “Paraiyana kadiwalum, Pudiyana Pugudulam” which translates to “Let the old things go away and Let the new things come in”.
Significance of Pongal:
Celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and countries with Tamil diaspora including Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Singapore and Malaysia, Pongal is one of the most important ones in the Tamil calendar and has been celebrated for over a thousand years. The period is referred to as Uttarayan Punyakalam in the Hindu mythology and is believed that it is the period when the Devas wake up after a half a year-long slumber hence marking a period of wealth and prosperity on earth.
Here’s how you can also celebrate Pongal by sending someone Happy Pongal wishes and messages:
‘May good luck enter your home and success touch your feet. May happiness overflow on the auspicious occasion of Pongal’.
‘May this harvest festival reduce all your fears and failures from your life and fill your heart with calm and healthy thoughts. Happy Pongal!’
‘May the festival of Pongal fill your life with sweetness! May God bless you with peace, prosperity, and happiness in your life. Wish you a Happy Pongal’.
‘May the auspicious fire bring you joy and happiness and burn all your moments of sadness. Wishing you a very Happy Pongal’.