“May the Pongal celebration bring sweetness into your life!” May God continue to bless you with peace, wealth, and joy in your life. “Wishing you a joyous Pongal.”
Excitement and joy are in the air as the first holiday of the year approaches. Makar Sankranti is the name given to the festival in most regions of the nation, whereas Pongal is the name given to it in South India. It is a major harvest festival in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, dedicated to the Sun God. Pongal, like most other August festivals, has its roots in the agricultural cycle, as this is when new crops are planted. The joyous occasion also signals the end of winter and the start of spring.
The day begins with ringing bells, rhythmic drum beats, and the echoing sounds of conch shells as the sun rises. The event is inspired by Pongal, a traditional dish produced by boiling rice and milk in an earthen pot until it overflows. This is a sign of riches and success. Rice is a sign of prosperity and nutrition, therefore it represents the start of the festivities.
Pongal is known by a variety of names in different parts of the country. Makar Sankranti is the name given to it in certain places, while Lohri is the name given to it in others. In Assam, it is known as Magh Bihu, whilst in West Bengal, it is known as Poush Sankranti. Regardless of labelling, the core of the celebration stays same.
On this day, a special ceremony is performed in which rice and milk are combined in an earthen pot with a turmeric plant attached to it and put out in the open as a gift to the sun deity. Sugarcane sticks, coconuts, and bananas are also on the menu.
Another important feature of this day is the kolam, a traditional artwork hand-drawn with lime powder at the door of homes. After having a bath, execute this auspicious artwork first thing in the morning.