RajuIndia.com | Incredible Real India | Taj Mahal Tours of India   

Travel Packages

Unique Experiences

Destinations in India

Hotels & Resorts

India Travel Tips

Contact Us

Pongal Festival - Fairs and Festivals in India

Bookmark and Share

Pongal is a four days long harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India. For as long as people have been planting and gathering food, there has been some form of harvest festival. Pongal, one of the most important popular Hindu festivals of the year. This four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature takes its name from the Tamil word meaning "to boil" and is held in the month of Thai (January-February) during the season when rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an essential ingredient in Tamil cooking) are harvested.

Mid-January is an important time in the Tamil calendar. The harvest festival, Pongal, falls typically on the 14th or the 15th of January and is the quintessential 'Tamil Festival'. Pongal is a harvest festival, a traditional occasion for giving thanks to nature, for celebrating the life cycles that give us grain. Tamilians say 'Thai pirandhaal vazhi pirakkum', and believe that knotty family problems will be solved with the advent of the Tamil month Thai that begins on Pongal day. This is traditionally the month of weddings. This is not a surprise in a largely agricultural community - the riches gained from a good harvest form the economic basis for expensive family occasions like weddings.

The Legend Behind The Celebrations
There are few interesting legends behind the Pongal celebrations. The most popular among them related to the celebrations of the first day of the Pongal festival goes like this - Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger to shelter his people and save them from being washed away by the rains and floods.

According to another the third day of Pongal is celebrated because Lord Shiva once asked Nandi, his bull, to go to earth and deliver his message to the people - to have an oil bath every day and food once a month. But Nandi got it all mixed up when he delivered the message, and told the people that Shiva asked them to have an oil bath once a month and eat every day. Shiva was displeased, and told Nandi that since the people would now need to grow more grain, Nandi would have to remain on earth and help them plough the fields.

Mattu Pongal is also called "Kanu Pongal", and women pray for the welfare of their brothers. This is similar to the festivals of Raksha Bandhan some states of North India.

Rituals Followed
A typical traditional Pongal celebration has a number of rituals attached to it. The place where the Pongal Puja is to be conducted is cleaned and smeared with dung, a day prior to the festival. People generally choose an open courtyard for this purpose.

'Kolams' (Rangoli) generally drawn with rice flour are special to the occasion. The idea behind using rice flour is that the insects would feed on it and bless the household. At the centre of it a lump of cow dung holds a five-petal pumpkin flower, which is regarded as a symbol of fertility and an offering of love to the presiding deity. In a similar way the houses are also cleaned, painted and decorated. Kolams (Rangoli) are made in the front yards of the houses and new clothes for the whole family are bought to mark the festivities.

The Tempting Recipes
Sweet rice, known as "Pongal", is cooked in a new earthenware pot at the same place where puja is to be performed. Fresh turmeric and ginger are tied around this pot. Then a delicious concoction of rice, Moong Dal, jaggery and milk are boiled in the pot on an open fire. This Pongal, according to ritual, is allowed to boil and spill out of the pot. Pongal, once ready, is offered to God first, on a new banana leaf along with other traditional delicacies like Vadas, Payasam, etc. Besides this, sugarcane, grain, sweet potatoes, etc are also offered to the Sun God.

Pongal Festival, Tamil Nadu - Fairs and Festivals in India - unique adventure, travel, experience, tours, packages, plans, itinerary, indian, luxury, medium, budget, cheap, unique, adventure, tours, travel, packages, plans, fairs and festivals, Pongal Festival, Tamil Nadu, itinerary

 

Fairs & Festivals in India

Buddha Purnima
Durga Pooja Navratra
Vijayadashmi
Holi - Festival of Colors
Teej - Festival of Women
Elephant Festival
Onam in Kerala
Kumbha Mela
Deepawali - Festival of Lights
Gangaur in Jaipur
Makar Sankranti
Pushkar Camel Fair
Nagaur Cattle Fair
Summer Festival in Mount Abu
Jaisalmer Desert Festival
International Kite Festival
Pongal Festival
Magh Bihu Festival
Mamallapuram Festival
Kolkata Festival
Modhera Dance Festival in Gujarat
Bikaner Camel Festival
Baneshwar Fair
Taj Mahotsav - Agra
Konark Festival in Orissa
Khajuraho Dance Festival
Khatushyam Ji Fair
Rangoli Bihu in Assam
Champakulam Boat Race in Kerala
Guru Purnima
Amarnath Yatra
Ganesh Chaturthi
Independence Day
Raksha Bandhan
Janmashtami
Nehru Trophy Boat Race in Alleppey, Kerala
Ganga Mahotsav
Chandrabhaga Fair
Christmas
Chennai Dance Festival
Enquire Now Enquire Now
User Login Area User Login Area
Payment Options Payment Options
Bookmark this page Bookmark this page
Email this page Email page to a friend
Print this page Print this page

 

Tags

indian, luxury, medium, budget, cheap, unique, adventure, desert, wild, tours, travel, packages, plans, safaris, itinerary, Pongal Festival, Tamil Nadu - Fairs and Festivals in India - unique adventure, travel, experience, tours, packages, plans, itinerary, indian, luxury, medium, budget, cheap, unique, adventure, tours, travel, packages, plans, fairs and festivals, Pongal Festival, Tamil Nadu, itinerary


India Travel Blog | India Travel Reviews | Travel Planning Tools | About Us | Terms & Conditions | Cancellation Policy | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Links | Search Engine Submission - AddMe

Member of IATO    Member of TAAI    Member of UFTAA    Registered Tour Operators from Ministry of Tourism - Govt of India    Member of RATO

2002-2017 Incredible Real India Tours & Travel Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.