Thai Pongal vaazhthukkal – Pongal celebrations

Pongal, the harvest festival, marks a new beginning in the South Indian Tamil calendar.
The time of the year when the fresh soft cooking rice crop is milled and the field fresh root vegetables flood the markets. it is the season when the medicinal turmeric tubers colour the town with a yellow hue. For the sweet offering, there is plenty of mature juicy sugar cane.  The mild breeze and the calm sun of January giving hope to a better life this year.
With the beginning of the auspicious “Thai” Masam, the four day festival of a thanksgiving nature begins. The month begins with the movement of the sun towards the north, Uttarayanam, mythologically signifying the awakening of the Gods. A perfect time to have the harvest festival. Pongal- signifies “the rising” of the grains being cooked. With all the concerns set aside, festivities are in full swing. This is the best time to travel to Tamilnadu, India. the weather is calm and pleasant and the towns and rural areas decorated. head off to the villages and experience every household laying out their courtyard open with beautiful kolam decorations. 

Day 1- Bhogi Pongal

The farmer has a good crop and the offering to the sun god who has blessed the bounty begins with cleaning of the fields, houses. The houses adorned with rice paste and with buntings of young coconut leaf crafts,  mango leaves, neem and turmeric leaves are in plenty. With the last of the agricultural wastes burned as a bonfire to warm up against the January chill, Bhogi Pongal is a day of thanks to the Rain God- Indra.

Day 2- Thai Pongal

The open fire set ready with newly cured mud pots are a typical scene when it comes to Pongal.Laced with creative rice paste decoration ( kolam) all along the courtyard the whole household gathers to watch the fresh harvest offerings to be prepared. The cuisine is simple country style heavenly healthy and sumptuous are both sweet and savoury. offered to the Sun-god seeking blessings for an abundant upcoming year.

Day 3 Maatu Pongal

The farmers most reliable friend the cattle is worshipped on maatu Pongal. The relationship between man and his useful beast began from the time the mythological Basava was banished from heaven and ordered to help humans create an abundance of food to feed their hungry stomachs. the toiling beasts are beautifully decorated with new bells and painted horns and treated with sugarcane and soft cooked rice.

Day 4 – Kanu Pongal

The last day of the festivities begins early, with the women offering the leftover Pongal varieties on a clean turmeric leaf with the traditional betel leaf offerings. The song
“Kaka pidi vechen
kanu pidi vechen…..” wishing for the inlaws house and your parent’s house to be blessed with a bounty.
Pongal recipes
 Here are characteristic preparations made during this celebration.  Try out these traditional elements along with the happy joyous voices of “Pongal O Pongal… “
 “Thai pirandal vazhi pirakkum
When the time is right there will always be a solution… it is the best hope for a great new auspicious year.
Greetings to a great Pongal to all my readers.
The pic credits of this post go to @sashivm. Thank you for being a sweetheart sharing your personal copies.
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Vidya Narayan
5 years ago

Loved reading the post. Pongal is a huge affair in South India. Loved all the varieties of Pongals that you have beautifully captured. Wishing you and everyone at home a very happy Pongal. Stay healthy and prosperous.

Poonam bachhav
5 years ago

Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy Pongal …lovely write up !

5 years ago

Happy Pongal..lovely post! Love Pongal dishes.

5 years ago

wow! wow! No words to express, it’s almost I have celebrated the festival here, with you all and NOW. Thank you for such a wonderful and informative post. I am saving it to make my kids read. clicks <3 <3 <3
Thank you for all the recipes,

5 years ago

Love the details shared by You. Happy Pongal dear

Ritu Tangri
5 years ago

Yesterday only I was telling my daughter that the way we celebrate Lohri in North India, In South India, Pongal is celebrated. Now I have something more to tell my kids about Pongal…quite an information. Thanks for sharing.

5 years ago

Good to know about the tradition. Each region differs magnificiently. Loved those different pongal.

5 years ago

India has rich culture and learned about the Pongal with this. The food looks yummy too! A must try when got the chance. Thank you for the post, so informative!

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
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Love reading about the different traditional 4 days Pongal celebrations. SO much meaning and appreciation for what God gives us. Lovely kolam and pot decorations.

1 year ago
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Loved the info on the reasons why we celebrate Pongal n the different days and celebration involved. Thanks for sharing.

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