Pongal is a popular harvest festival that usually falls in the middle of January every year. ‘Pongal’ means ‘boiling over’ or ‘overflow’ in Tamil, signifying the overflow of prosperity and happiness.
The first day of Pongal is called Bhogi Pongal, where people discard old and unused household items and celebrate with bonfires. The second day, Surya Pongal, is dedicated to the Sun God. On this day, a sweet dish called Pongal, made from rice, milk and jaggery, is prepared and offered to the Sun along with other offerings. The third day, Mattu Pongal, celebrates cattle and other farm animals that help farmers in agriculture. On this day, cattle are bathed, decorated with flowers and worshipped. The fourth and final day, Kaanum Pongal, marks the end of Pongal festivities, where people visit relatives and friends to enjoy the festive season.