Pongal is an ancient festival of the people of South India especially Tamil Nadu. This festival is dedicated to the deity related to agriculture and crops. Before Pongal, on Amavasya people pledge to renounce bad practices and accept good things. This work is called 'Pohi' and means 'to go.' Pongal in Tamil means ebullition or Uprising. On the next day of Pohi, that is, Pratipada, like Diwali, Pongal is celebrated.
According to the Gregorian calendar, the Pongal festival is celebrated every year between January 14 and January 17. Everyone is waiting for the day of Pongal and on this day they offer Rice to the Lord. People celebrate this festival with everyone in their courtyard or courtyard.
According to a legend, once Lord Shiva asked his bull Basava to go to the earth from heaven and give a message to the humans - that they should bathe with oil every day and eat food one time in a week. But Basava went to the earth and told people exactly the opposite. He told humans that - they should bathe in oil one day and eat food every day. Lord Shiva became very angry with this mistake and cursed his bull Basava that he would have to plow to help humans in producing more food. In this way, this day is related to cattle.
There is another mythological story related to this festival which is of Lord Krishna and Lord Indra. It is said that once Lord Krishna asked the villagers of his village to stop worshiping Indra. Due to which Lord Indra was very angry and he sent clouds to bring storm and rain for 3 days continuously, due to which the whole of Dwarka was destroyed. Then Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain in his little finger to protect everyone, then Indra realized his mistake and understood the power of Lord Krishna. Then Lord Krishna asked Vishwakarma ji to rebuild it and the cowherds re-cultivated the crop with their cows.
Bhogi festival, the first day of Pongal - People celebrate the first day of Pongal as a Bhogi festival to express their honor to Lord Indra, who is the lord of the skies and clouds and provides us with rain with rain. On this day, Lord Indra is honored to bring prosperity to the earth and to give it in abundance with this time of harvest.
Another part of the celebration of this day is that all the people of the house clean the house in the morning and in the evening the old useless things are thrown in the dung and wood fire. Female members of the family show their gratitude to the God of this harvest season by singing and dancing around the bonfire. This bonfire is a means of burning waste things through agriculture. It is also meant to keep people warm during winter.
Thai Pongal, the second day of Pongal - On this day, people put a lump of turmeric in a pot of clay and boil rice and milk together in front of the Sun God outside the house and offer it to the Sun God. Also, sugarcane, coconut, bananas are also offered. On this day people worship Lord Sun.
Another important aspect of this day is Kolam. Traditional designs are made by houses with lime powder by hands but people can also call it Rangoli. It is considered auspicious and it is made by the women of the house after bathing in the morning. Then in the evening everyone gets ready and meets each other and consumes the rice.
Mattu Pongal, the third day of Pongal - Mattu Pongal is celebrated in the name of cows and bulls. On this day, cows and bulls are decorated with bells, piles of maize and wreaths. Because on this day Lord Shiva cursed his bull Basava and told him to stay in the earth. For this reason, they are also used in harvesting, plowing, etc. Therefore, to honor them, they are worshiped on this day, people also play the game of Jallikattu on this day. In this way, the festival of Mattu Pongal is celebrated.
Kanum Pongal, the fourth day of Pongal - Kanum Pongal is the last day of Pongal. It is also called Kanu Pongal. On this day, there is a tradition where the dish of Pongal is set in the courtyard on betel leaves, sugarcane and betel nut as well as washed turmeric leaves. This is the day for all of them sit and eat together.
In this way, on the day of Pongal festival, people share happiness by saying "Happy Pongal" to each other and take the blessings of elders from themselves, and this festival ends in this way.