Thamizhar Thirunal – Festival of the Tamils and to be very specific festival of the farmers – A Harvest Festival. This is celebrated by the Tamil people all over the world along with the farmers as they believe and also a true fact, that without the farmers and his hard work along with this whole family and the cattle, the whole world will be hungry and the whole world will starve. Alright let get into Pongal, the day begins with Bhogi, Pongal, Mattu pongal, Kanu pidi Kannum Pongal, Siruvar Pongal..
Bhogi – Bhogi is the day proceeding Pongal, we clean our house and burn or discard the old things, which are not in a condition to use it further. This is dated on 14th of January.
Pongal – Thai Pongal, Thai mudhal thingal, The first day of Thai(Tamil Month) on our daily calendar which falls on 15th of January. On this day people wake up early in the morning take oil bath, wear new dress and celebrate it by boiling new harvested rice in a new clay pot and in another pot it will be boiled with rice, fresh milk and jaggery, latter topped with sugar, ghee cashew nuts and raisins. This is known as sarkarai Pongal – Sweet Pongal. The pot just with rice and water boils over bubbles out of the vessels along with the sun rise.
This is how we greet the sun and honour it, as we know without the light and heat of the sun there will be no life in the world. To be clear sun was not worshiped by our ancient tamil people, it was just honored.
Why 14th or 15th January is celebrated as Pongal?
The season occurs based on the tropical sun. The earth revolves around sun with a tilt of 23.45 degrees. When the tilt is facing the sun we get summer and when the tilt is away from the sun we get winter. That is the reason where there is summer north of the equator; it will be winter south of the equator. Because of this tilt it appears that the sun travels north and south of the equator.
On the day when the sun going from south to north we celebrate Pongal which might fall on 14th or 15th Jan.
Maatu Pongal – As said earlier cattle plays an equal role to the farmer in the harvest field. Cattle play an important role in our life. The effort it puts in farm field and gives it full energy just for the husk that we feed it. Milk and the dairy products, cow’s milk is the alternate food for a baby when a mother couldn’t feed the baby with her milk. So we honour the cattle that worked hard throughout the year, by giving them a bath, painting their horns feed them good food. On this day our ancient games are played and the most important is Jallikattu i.e., taming the wild bulls.
Kanu pidi– (17th Jan) – On this day the woman and ladies of the family pray for their well being of their brothers and feed the cow, sparrow and the other birds.
Kannum Pongal– On this day people visit relatives and friends to enjoy the festive reason. Forgiving the mistakes that happened in the past and forget the fight between each other and rejoin their hands on this particular day.