The harvest festival of Pongal is almost upon us. Pongal is basically a festival that is meant for an agrarian society. It is a festival that was once celebrated by a society that was dependent on farming and a good harvest of crops. That is why, all the rituals associated with this festival are very agrarian in nature. This is especially true in case of kitchen decoration because that is were the food is prepared.
Many people who have moved to cities still like to celebrate this Tamil festival with all its splendour. But there is a small problem, how are we to replicate the rustic kitchen decoration of Pongal in our modern homes. Pongal is the name of the rice dish that is brewed on an open fire usually in the courtyard. And we live in modern apartments with modular kitchens where the concept of open wood fire seems impossible.
But you need not be disheartened. You can always use traditional decorations to give your kitchen the rustic Pongal look. A nice kolam (rangoli design), some sugarcane sticks and bubbling pot Pongal can be assembled even in a modern kitchen. Here are some kitchen decoration ideas to bring the Pongal spirit into your modern homes.
Put Up The Toranum
Toran or toranum is a string of mango leaves are tied together in a thread. This is put up on the doors of homes for all auspicious occasions. String up the toranum on the door of your kitchen.
Drawing The Kolam
The kolam or the rangoli design is first drawn with a white powder in most Tamil homes. You can either leave it white or add some colour.
Make the kolam either at the entrance of your kitchen or at the place were you will cook the pongal. Fill colours in the white kolam by using all your creativity.
Keeping Up Theme
You may not be at your native place in our ancestral house to celebrate Pongal but you can keep the spirit alive with a symbolic kolam like this one.
Bricks And Wood
In cities were so many building are being built, it will not be difficult to find bricks. Arrange the bricks in the shape of square over with one side open. Place pieces of wood in it. Sprinkle some kerosene on the wood so that it burns faster.
Since sugarcane is the main harvest of this season, it holds great significance for Pongal. Get 3 tall sugarcane sticks and tie them together like a tent around the oven you have created.
Making Sakkarai Pongal
Place an earthen pot with all the ingredients of the Sakkarai Pongal in it. Allow it to boil and bubble over the brim for good luck. Open all the windows of the kitchen when you boil the Pongal.
The Pongal Feast
Lay fresh banana leaves on the floor of your kitchen and serve the feast on it to your family. Eating in the traditional way will complete your experience of this harvest festival.