Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Celebrate Harvest Season With Pongal Festival

A four-day festival celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu, Pongal is one of the most important festive seasons for Tamilians. It usually falls on the 14th or 15th of January, and welcomes the harvest season. The Pongal festival is also considered to be the month of weddings; as traditions suggest that family occasions like weddings, that are very expensive, can be conducted efficiently from the riches gained from a good harvest. The festival of Pongal is also a time for thanksgiving, when people thank Lord Indra for blessing them with the abundance of harvest.
pongal festival in kodaikanal
First day of this festival honours Lord Indra, and is known as 'Bhogi'. A bonfire called 'Bhogi Mantalu' is prepared on this day, using household articles that are no longer in use. Girls dance around this bonfire, singing songs in the honour of Gods, the spring and harvest seasons. Rituals related to Pongal are also observed in Kodaikanal, a famous holiday spot in Tamil Nadu. The second day of Pongal in Kodaikanal is celebrated by boiling rice in milk, with a turmeric plant being tied around the pot. Coconuts and bananas are also included in the offerings with two sticks of sugarcane in the background. The Surya Pongal Kodaikanal residents celebrate, also includes a 'Puja' which is characterized by a traditional design traced in white lime powder.
The third day of Pongal is dedicated to the cows, as they are garlanded with flowers, sheaves of corn, multi-coloured beads and tinkling bells. They are then worshipped during a ritual called 'Arati', which is performed to ward off the evil. Fourth day of Pongal celebration in Kodaikanal is known as 'Kannum Pongal'. On this day, women in the households perform Arati for the prosperity of their brothers. Some of the best resorts in Kodaikanal also celebrate Pongal by offering special delicacies for their guests.

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