Makar Sankranti is celebrated in northern India. South India is full of festivals with Pongal celebrations. Unlike Makar Sankranti, which is a one-day celebration, the festivities of Pongal are four times longer than the 4-day festival. Pongal is a festival that celebrates the giving of the first harvest of the year by giving thanks to the eternal source of energy, the Sun, Mother Nature, and all the animals that help with the harvest. Pongal has two meanings, one of which is the festival that is celebrated when the farmers get a good harvest and the second is the food cooked during this festival. Pongal food is made of cooked rice with added sweet. Pongu meaning ‘to boil’ is the Tamil word for this dish.The 4-day celebration is full of great gratitude, joyful laughter, delicious delicacies, and extravagant fashion.
Four Days of Pongal and What to Do on Them
First Day of Pongal
The first day of Pongal is called ‘Bhogi Pongal’. On this day, old things are cleaned and thrown away so that people can start the new year with a fresh start. People wear new clothes, especially ethnic wear, and decorate their houses beautifully.
Day 2 of Pongal
The second day of Pongal is called ‘Surya Pongal’, which is a day of great celebration of the Sun God. Beautiful and colorful patterns known as ‘kolam’ are drawn on the entrance gates of the houses. According to the calendar, every auspicious time people cook fresh rice with milk. As soon as the milk boils on the pot, the people in the house shout with joy for Panglao Pongal. Once Pongal is offered to the Sun God, people eat it.
3rd Day of Pongal
Better known as ‘Maatu Pongal’, the third day of Pongal is dedicated to worshiping the cow to help one remember the work that one usually does. , like harvesting the land. After the worship, the cow is bathed and decorated with beads, bells and flower garlands.
4th Day of Pongal
On the fourth day of Pongal, which is called ‘Kaanum Pongal’, people respect family ties and give great importance to community. The family gathers and eats delicious food. The younger members of the family seek the blessings of the elders of the family. On this day, people perform traditional Indian dances, such as kolattam and mayilattam.