Pongal Festival 2023: One of the most popular festivals in India is Pongal which is celebrated widely by the Tamil community across the globe. As per the Tamil solar calendar, Pongal is celebrated in Tai month. It is a four-day event that is dedicated to the Sun God. It also marks the beginning of Uttarayan, the journey of the Sun northward. Why is the Pongal festival celebrated, how is it celebrated, and what is its significance? Let us find out!
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When is Pongal 2023? Know Date Here
According to the Gregorian calendar, the Pongal festival will be observed on 15 January 2023. It is a four-day festival. Therefore, it will be celebrated from 15 January to 18 January 2023.
What is the Pongal festival?
The term 'Pongal' is derived from Tamil literature which means 'to boil'. It is an ancient festival of South India, particularly among the Tamils. It is basically a harvest festival that is celebrated for four-day-long in Tamil Nadu in the month of January-February (Thai) during the solar equinox after harvesting crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric, etc.
The Pongal festival is a four-day celebration affair. Each day is marked by different festivities- The first day is called the Bhogi festival; the Second day is called Thai Pongal; the Third day is called Mattu Pongal; the Fourth day is called Kaanum Pongal.
History of the Pongal Festival
The history of the festival can be traced back to the Sangam Age and is considered the ‘Dravidian Harvest festival’. But some historians claim that this festival is dated back at least 2,000 years old. It was celebrated as Thai Niradal.
According to the legends, during this festive season, unmarried girls prayed for the agricultural prosperity of the country, and for this purpose, they observed penance during the Tamil month of Margazhi. They abstained from the consumption of milk and milk products and didn't oil their hair throughout the month. The use of harsh words is strictly refrained by them. A ceremonial bath in the early morning is part of the ritual of penance.
Why is Pongal celebrated?
According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Shiva once asked Basava (Bull) to visit the Earth and ask the Human to have an oil massage and bath every day. But Basava (Bull) announced that eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This makes Lord Shiva furious and he cursed the Basava (Bull) to live on the Earth forever and said that Basava (Bull) has to plow the fields and help people produce more food. Hence, people after harvesting celebrate this festival with crops and cattle.
Importance of the Pongal
As we know that India is an agricultural country and the majority of the festivals are inclined toward nature. Just like another festival, the Pongal is referred to as Uttarayan Punyakalam which bears special significance in Hindu mythology and is considered extremely auspicious.
It is basically a harvesting festival or it can be considered as the 'thanksgiving' festival' because this festival is celebrated to thank the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping farmers in getting better-yielding crops. During the festival, people reject old belongings and welcome new stuff.
The preparation of the traditional "Pongal" dish is the festival's most important custom. Rice that has just been harvested is used, and it is cooked by boiling it with milk and raw cane sugar (jaggery). The sweet dish occasionally includes extra ingredients like cardamom, raisins, split green gramme, and cashew nuts. Other components include ghee and coconut (clarified butter from cow milk). Some people prepare the Pongal dish in addition to the sweet version, such as the salty and savoury varieties (venpongal). In certain communities, women gather together to cook as a social activity by bringing their "cooking pots to the town centre, or the main square, or near a temple of their choice, or simply in front of their own home.
The dish is made in honour of the Sun god, Surya, and is prepared in the sunlight, typically in a courtyard or porch. The traditional greeting on the Pongal day is "has the rice boiled," and family and friends are invited.
Is Pongal only for Tamil?
Pongal is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Tamil people in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Puducherry in India.
When will be Pongal celebrated in 2023?
Pongal will be celebrated in 2023 from 15th January to 18 January.
In which state Pongal is celebrated?
Pongal festival is widely celebrated in Tamil Nadu and other southern states of India. It is a popular harvest festival.
What is the significance of the Pongal festival?
India is an agricultural country and the majority of the festivals are inclined towards nature. Just like another festival, the Pongal is referred to as Uttarayan Punyakalam which bears special significance in Hindu mythology and is considered extremely auspicious.
For how many days the Pongal festival is celebrated?
Pongal festival is a four-day celebration affair. Each day marked by different festivities- First day is called the Bhogi festival; the Second day is called Thai Pongal; the Third day is called Mattu Pongal; the Fourth day is called Kaanum Pongal.
What is the Pongal festival?
The term 'Pongal' is derived from the Tamil literature which means 'to boil'. It is an ancient festival of South India, particularly Tamils. It is basically a harvest festival which is celebrated for four-day-long in Tamil Nadu in the month of January-February (Thai) during the solar equinox after harvesting crops like rice, sugarcane, turmeric, etc.