ORIGINS

The three-day Pongal celebration is a part of Hinduism, which is often regarded as the world’s oldest alive religion by many historians. The word Hindu comes from the Sanskrit phrase Sind- hu (or Indus), which means river in Sanskrit.

It referred to individuals who lived in the Indian subcontinent’s Indus valley. Hinduism has no creator, a one global reality (or god) known as Brahman, a large number of gods and goddesses (known as devtas), and multiple books. Other religions, such as Christianity, have priesthoods and hierarchical structures that Hinduism lacks.

Hindus recognise the authority of many different books, but there is no single, universal canon. The Vedas are the oldest Hindu literature. The word “veda” is derived from the Sanskrit word for “knowledge.”

The Pongal is another series of religious books.

There are around 33 million gods in the Hindu pantheon. Some of these are regarded more highly than others. Hindus believe in a single supreme god or universal concept who reigns supreme over all other gods.

Brahman is the name of a Hindu god. Despite his supremacy over all gods, he is not worshipped in popular rites since he is removed from the people’s daily lives. Brahman is a form of impersonality. He is served by lesser gods and goddesses (devtas). They are revered as gods because they are more closely involved in people’s affairs. The most venerated god in Hinduism varies per Hindu sect. Although Hindu devotees follow their faith in diverse ways and worship different gods, they all share a similar outlook on life.


Pongal, one of southern India’s most colourful celebrations, glorifies the sun, the earth, and the cow. The three-day event, which happens around the time of the WINTER SOLSTICE and coincides with the harvest season and the end of the monsoons, is said to be a relic of an ancient harvest festival. It is known as Pongal in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka in Andhra Pradesh, and Makara Sankranti in Gujarat because it occurs as the sun begins to migrate south in the The House of Makara (the Alligator), often known as Capricorn, spans the zodiac from Cancer to the House of Makara (the Alligator) (the Goat). The first day, known as Bhogi Pongal, is a family festival in which everyone cleans everything in the house.

Shops, offices, and factories are also cleansed as a representation of material sins being washed away. Surya Pongal is the second day, and it is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God. Mattu Pongal, the third day, is dedicated to cattle worship. The fourth day, which is not frequently followed, is spent paying visits and reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances.

On Makara Sankranti, Orthodox Hindus travel to Allahabad, the sacred city where the Ganges and the Jumna Rivers converge. Up to a million people visit this northern city every year to have their sins washed away by bathing in the Ganges.

Cow

The Festival of the Cow is celebrated on the third day of Pongal. Cows and oxen are bathed, their horns are polished, and flower garlands are draped around their necks. Bull-chasing is the primary event in many Indian villages: money bags are tied to the horns of vicious bulls, who are then permitted to stampede through the streets.

Young men attempt to catch a bull by the horns in order to collect the money bag. The horns are sometimes sharpened and painted, making the hunt even more perilous and thrilling.

Rice

The cooking and eating of rice from the newly harvested harvest is the most distinctive part of Pongal in southern India, where rice is the primary diet. On the second day of the festival, rice boiled in milk is offered to Surya, the Sun God, as a token of gratitude for the harvest’s bounty. “Is it boiled?” friends ask one another as a greeting. “Yes, it’s cooked,” is always the answer. In fact, one of the literal meanings of pongal is the foaming of milk without it boiling over, which is seen as a very good omen.

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