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Pongal is considered to be one of the most important festivals for people belonging to South India. The festival is mostly observed in Tamil Nadu and marks the harvest season. People observe Pongal as a thanksgiving to nature for bestowing its productivity. The festival usually coincides with Lohri and Makar Sankranti which happen to be similar festivals. This year Pongal will be observed from 14-17 January. But did you know that Pongal is a 4-day festival?
In case you have been unaware about it, we are here to tell you about the 4 days of celebration. Scroll down the article to read more.
1. Bhogi Pongal
Bhogi Pongal will be observed on 14 January. Bhogi Pongal is observed as a thanksgiving to Lord Indra for bestowing rain and productivity to one's land. As we know that Lord Indra is the God of rain and cloud, farmers worship Him devotedly. People celebrate Bhogi Pongal by lighting a bonfire and singing and dancing around the same. People usually sing folk songs. The bonfire comprises agriculture and domestic wastage.
2. Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal is the most important ritual and day of the four day festival. It is also known as Thai Pongal or Surya Pongal. The ritual usually begins by making Kolam, a practice of making religious designs at the entrance of one's house. People usually wear traditional dresses and jewellery and apply tika on their foreheads. Then females boil rice with milk in a pot tied with a turmeric plant. They prepare a sweet offering for Lord Surya (Sun) and offer the same to Him.
3. Mattu Pongal
Mattu Pongal is the third day of this 4-day festival. On this day, people ornate their cows and other cattle with colourful beads and garlands. People worship the cows and tie bells around the neck of the cows. They offer cloth to the cows. People give an oil massage and special foods to the cows, bulls and oxen.
4. Kaanum Pongal
The fourth and last day of Pongal is known as Kaanum Pongal. The rituals of this day includes consuming the leftovers of the sweet pongal along with betel leaves, betel nuts, coloured rice, turmeric and sugarcanes. People usually put the rice in the middle of the turmeric leaf. Women gather in the courtyard of their houses and pray for the welfare of their brothers, sons, husbands and fathers.
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