Why is Pongal Festival celebrated?
India is a diverse country. There are considerable differences in geographical conditions, inhabitants and their cultures in its various parts. Some regions are hot and dry like African deserts, while some are cold like Dhruv regions. If we look at the festivals of India, most of the festivals take place only after harvesting. In this article, we have told about Pongal and also discussed its mythology and history.
India is a diverse country ‘. There are considerable differences in geographical conditions, inhabitants and their cultures in its various parts. Some regions are hot and dry like African deserts, while some are cold like Dhruv regions. This nature diversity reminds us of the abundance here and the importance of natural resources, especially when the whole world is struggling with environmental change. If we look at the festivals of India, most of the festivals take place only after harvesting.
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What is Pongal?
Pongal in Tamil means boom or viplav. It is a major festival of Tamil Hindus and is a festival dedicated to prosperity in which rain, sunshine and agricultural cattle are worshiped to bring prosperity. The name of this festival is Pongal because the prasad that is offered to Sun God on this day is called Pagal.
This four-day festival is completely dedicated to nature and every day Pongal has different names – Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, Mattoo Pongal and Kanya Pongal. The practice of praying for long life by sisters for brothers like Bhaiya Duj is similar to the festivals celebrated in North India, like Bhai Dooj, by making new rice rice and offering it as a bhog, cleaning the oxen and houses. It is like worship of Chhath, Bhaiya Dooj and Govardhan.
History of Pongal
The festival began with the Sangam era, but some historians believe that the festival is at least 2,000 years old. It was celebrated as ‘Thai Nirdal’.
According to Tamil beliefs, Mattu is the bull of Lord Shankar, who due to a mistake, Lord Shankar asked him to live on earth to produce food for humans and since then he has been living on earth and helping human beings in agricultural work. On this day, farmers bathe their bulls and apply oil to their singles and decorate the bulls in other ways. They are worshiped after decorating the hair. Along with the bull, cow and calves are also worshiped on this day. Somewhere people also know it by the name of Keanu Pongal in which sisters worship their brothers for the well being and brothers give gifts to their sisters.
Why is Pongal Festival celebrated?
This festival is traditionally a festival dedicated to prosperity, in which rain, sunshine and farm cattle are worshiped to bring prosperity. The Sun is considered a giver of food money and is celebrated for four days and gratitude is expressed to them. Going deep into the subject, this festival is dedicated to the gods related to agriculture and crops.
Importance of Pongal
The origin of this festival is also agriculture. By January, the main crop of Tamil Nadu is ready by cooking sugarcane and paddy. The farmer is delighted and jumps at his waving fields. His mind is filled with gratitude to the Lord. The bull is also worshiped on this day, because it was he who plowed the fields to plow. Hence, garlands and bulls are bathed and garlanded between their horns. Painting is also done on his forehead and he is respected by feeding him sugarcane and rice. Fair is also held at some places. In which bulls race and various sports-events are organized.
As we know that India is an agricultural country and most of the festivals are oriented towards nature. Like another festival, Pongal is known as Uttarayan Punyakalam which holds special significance in Hindu mythology and is considered extremely auspicious.