Even though there are 28 states in India, still Tamil Nadu stands unique among others. When you ask people in India about Tamil Nadu, they will say various things with a surprising and happy face. Experts said it is a state with an innovation-based economy with a strong performance in manufacturing and services and there is one more thing is famous about and it is harvest festival of Tamil Nadu.
One of the major strength of celebrating Tamil Nadu is its culture and traditions. Each month, you can find a special festival in Tamil Nadu. But people from that state give more importance and follow various traditional methods only to their harvest festival. Yes, Pongal is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu and here are the details about it:
Harvest Festival of Tamil Nadu:
Days of the festival
Pongal, the Tamil equivalent of Thanksgiving, is a harvest celebration. Harvesting serves a vital role in an agriculture-based civilization. Cattle, timely rain, and the Sun are important to the farmer who cultivates his field. During the harvest festival once a year, he conveys his gratitude to them.
Day 1 – Bhogi Pongal
The Pongal festival begins on Bhogi Pongal, which falls on the last day of the Tamil month of Marghazi. On this day, people remove their old belongings and enjoy their new ones. People gather and build a bonfire to burn the mountains of trash. Houses are cleaned, painted, and adorned to give a festive appearance.
Day 2 – Surya Pongal
Surya (Sun) Pongal is the second day of this winter harvest festival when people pray to the Sun in the morning. They also use kolams, or floor designs created from crushed rice powder and sugarcane to beautify their homes. When rice is cooked in milk in an earthenware pot in the courtyard and offered to the Sun, it is considered ceremonial worship. Offerings made to the Sun In addition to sugarcane, bananas, and coconut in recipes, God is made up of sugarcane, bananas, and coconut.
Day 3 – Mattu Pongal
Maatu Pongal is the third day of Pongal. This day is dedicated to honouring and worshipping cattle in recognition of their work, which means ploughing the soil. Cows are bathed and adorned with flowers, multicoloured beads, and bells. Their cows look great after the decorations on them. People from Tamil Nadu will never hurt their cattle and consider them their family members. Thanksgiving prayers will be held in Singapore for the animals at several Indian-owned dairy farms.
Day 4 – Kanum Pongal
The fourth day of the celebration, Kanum Pongal, also known as Kanu Pongal, marks the end of the Pongal festivities for the year. Here Kaanum stands out for the meaning of “to visit”. On this day, numerous families meet for reunions. To develop mutual bonds, communities conduct social events. During colonial occasions, villagers cut and eat fresh farm sugarcane. Relatives, friends, and neighbours come to greet, while children go out to pay respects and ask blessings from seniors. Some elders give the visiting children pocket money as a gift.
Preparing the traditional ‘Pongal‘ dish is the most important aspect of the occasion. It is made with newly harvested rice and cooked in milk with jaggery. Since it is the most significant harvest festival for Tamil Nadu, every year, Tamil people celebrate it properly.