Pongal is the most well-established harvest festival of Kerala which is celebrated for four days in mid-January every year. This festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving occasion in which farmers pay respect and honor to the Sun god, nature and cattle's for their contribution to agricultural activities.
The Sun God & Pongal Celebration
The festival is also celebrated in North India with the name 'Sankranthi'.It is also celebrated as the mark of an auspicious journey of Sun to northwards which is known as the Uttarayan or Summer Solstice. Itis a four-day long festivity for worshipping Lord Surya. People pray to the Sun God on this occasion, as it is very powerful and helps in the growth of the paddy and other plantations. Therefore, this festival is very important for farmers especially.
Celebrations of Pongal
This is a four-day celebration, is basically a Dravidian Harvest festival. The temples are decorated with bells, drums, rangoli etc. Sweets, especially made of rice, are cooked and offered to the Sun God as a ritual. People also decorate their houses with garlands and colorful rangoli.
4-Day Pongal Celebration
Thisfestival is thepopular Tamil festivals that go on for 4-days and these festivities resemble different meaning. Below is the detailed expression:
Day 1: Bhogi Pongal The 1st day is named as Bhogi Pongal. On this day we show gratitude towards Lord Indra (the God of rain) for blessing the land with rain which can lead to a good harvest. People clean the houses and remove all the garbage or any waste lying around their houses.
Day 2: Surya Pongal This day is marked by worshipping the Sun God. The God is worshipped by offering milk and jaggery. On this day rice is mixed with milk and jaggery and is cooked until the mixture of rice and milk flows out of the pot. The overflowing of rice is considered as a symbol of a wonderful farming season. The rice is then offered to God. Apart from this, there are many other dishes that are made on this day.
Day 3: Mattu Pongal This day of Pongal is especially dedicated to the herds and cattle. The cattle such as cows, bulls and other farm animals are bathed and groomed nicely before worshipping them. They are thankful for their contribution to agriculture.
Day 4: Kaanum Pongal This is the day when the exchange of greeting and sweets among relatives and friends is done. It is the time for the family to get- together and celebrates this occasion. Rangolis are made which symbolizes prosperity in the house.
Astrology & Religious Significance Pongal boasts of being the only Hindu festival that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on January 14, every year. Astronomically, this is the time when Uttarayana (the Sun's movement towards north for a six month period) begins. This is considered very auspicious among Hindus. AskGanesha can perform Lord Sun puja which can provide the devotee with multiple benefits in their life.