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Pongal is one of the most popular and pompously celebrated festivals of the Southern India specifically the state of the Tamil Nadu, the union territory of Pondicherry and the country of Sri Lanka. This festival is observed to celebrate the harvesting of the crops and thus had been initially observed by the farmers of the Southern India. However, gradually with time the festival of Pongal started spreading beyond the groups of the farmers and was adopted by all the people of the above mentioned regions.
Dates and Month of this celebration
Just the day after the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti is celebrated every year. Pongal means the process of boiling of rice and milk marking the journey of the Sun God from its Southern position to Northern position. The festival welcomes the summer season and bidding a bye to the chilling and frozen winter. Pongal is observed, according to the Tamilian calendar, starting from the end day of the month of Maargazhi to the 3rd day of the month of Thai.
Pongal in the year 2013 is observed on 15th January
Celebration of Pongal in South India
The festival of Pongal is believed to open new ways of opportunities for the people rest of the year ahead and bring wealth, prosperity and health to their lives. The people offer their prayers and hearty thanks to the God Surya for blessing them with a good crop and ask His mercy and kindness to bless them with a good harvesting year ahead as well. The ladies decorate their houses with colorful garlands and flowers, arranging a special puja for the Sun God and cook delicious and mouth watering dishes to eat till their heart’s content. The females of each house decorate their front porch with colorful designs made of rice flour which is termed in local language as the “rangoli”. It is believed that these hand designs welcome the God to enter the house and bless the house. Also the main door of every house is beautified using mango leaves and on each sides of the gate banana leaves are used to mark the celebration of Pongal.
People wear new clothes on that day, have an early morning bath and sit to worship the Surya Devta. The devotees gather with their near and dear ones to perform the puja. All the folks participating in the puja need to fast and can have food only when the puja is completed. The main dish of the day’s item should have to be boiled rice and milk which have been allowed to overflow while boiling considering it be to auspicious.
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