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If you are a Tamil, you are probably wondering why we celebrate Pongal. Well, Pongal is a Hindu harvest festival celebrated for several days in Tamil Nadu, India and Sri Lanka. The festival falls at the beginning of the Tamil solar month of Tai, or around January 14th. It is celebrated to welcome a good harvest year and ask God's blessings for the coming year. Here are a few things to remember while celebrating this Tamil festival:
Pongal is a harvest festival that celebrates the harvest season and the prosperity that comes with it. The celebration is also an opportunity to thank the sun, rain, and farm animals for bringing in the harvest. Celebrated in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and South Africa, this harvest festival is a Hindu festival and is believed to be over 1000 years old. During Medieval Chola empire days, the festival was celebrated as Puthiyeedu. The name Pongal comes from the fact that it marks the first harvest in the year.
The Tamil calendar divides the year into two halves based on the sun's movement. The harvest period begins when the sun enters the Sagittarius sign, and ends on the day of Makaram, a celebration of the beginning of the new year. This harvest period is marked by celebrations of rice, milk, and vegetables. While Pongal has a long and rich history, many aspects of farming have been lost over the centuries.
The Hindu festival of Pongal is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, India. This event has spiritual significance and arouses the inner spirituality of people. Whether you are visiting the state or living in Tamil Nadu, the festival will give you a taste of the vibrant culture of this part of India. Here are some things you can do to celebrate this festival and experience the rich culture of Tamil Nadu. If you are visiting this state, make sure to take part in Pongal festival.
On the first day, people prepare their houses by cleaning, removing cobwebs and cleaning the surroundings. Some even go to the extent of whitewashing their homes! On the second day of the festival, people adorn their houses with flowers and rice and throw away old items. Then they prepare a bonfire and burn them. The bonfire symbolizes the destruction of the old and ushering in the new.
The three days of Pongal are celebrated to honor cattle and cows. Cows are worshiped on this day, adorned with bells and sheaves of corn. Legend has it that a bull named Nandi was sent to Earth by Lord Shiva to deliver a message to mankind. When he got confused and announced to Lord Shiva that humans should eat daily, he blew it and created Pongal.
Farmers play a major role during this time. Appropriate rainfall is essential to produce a good harvest, so it is a good time to pay homage to the Rain God. In addition to this, villagers line the borders of their homes with red mud and anoint their harvesting tools with sandalwood paste. While these practices may seem a bit strange to modern eyes, the traditions are rooted in ancient Indian culture and are still practiced today.
According to mythology, Lord Shiva sent his bull Basava to Earth to harvest the crops and ask people to bathe and take oil massage daily. However, the bull accidentally told the humans to eat every day and Lord Shiva became angry, expelling him from Kaylaya and banishing him on earth for eternity. The bull helped the humans produce more food and the festival is celebrated to seek God's blessings.
On the first day of the Pongal festival, a new hearth is built outside, and children and adults shout "Pongal!" The first offering is made to the sun. Families celebrate the festival by reuniting, and rivalries are forgotten. Pongal brings love, harmony and prosperity to the people who celebrate it. Here are a few ideas for family celebrations. Let your children celebrate this beautiful festival and spread the word about this ancient Indian tradition.
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