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Pongal Greetings


pongal-greetings

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Pongal


wealthymattersPongal is a  thanksgiving festival celebrated by Tamils at the end harvest season. Pongal marks the beginning of the northward journey of the Sun from its southern most limit i.e. uttarayana. It is celebrated from January 13–16 i.e. from the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of Thai.

The first day of the celebration is called Bhogi .On this day people assemble at dawn to light a bonfire to discard old used possessions. Then the house is cleaned, painted and decorated to give it a festive look.

The first day of the month of Thai is marked as Thai Pongal. The celebration starts by decorating homes with banana and mango leaves and drawing kolams. Then at daybreak rice is boiled with fresh milk and jaggery in new clay pots. The rice is later topped with sugar, ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. This tradition gives Pongal its name. Pongal means “boiling over” or “spill over”. The boiling over of milk in the clay pot symbolizes material abundance for the household.The moment the milk boils over and bubbles out of the vessel, the tradition is to shout “Pongalo Pongal!”, introduce the first of the freshly harvested rice grain in the pot (Surya Mangalyam)and blow the sanggu ie conch. It is considered a good sign to watch the milk boil over as it connotes good luck and prosperity. The newly cooked rice dish,called pongal, is traditionally offered to the Sun God-Suriya at sunrise to demonstrate gratitude for the good harvest. It is later served to the people present in the house for the ceremony. Symbolically, Pongal signifies the warming i.e. boiling of the season as the sun travels northward towards the equinox. Read more of this post

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