As the first celebration of the year approaches, joy and enthusiasm are in the air. While Makar Sankranti is the name given to the holiday in most regions of the country, it is also known as Pongal in South India. It is a major harvest festival in South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, and it is dedicated to the Sun God. Pongal, like most other holidays held in this month, has its roots in the farming cycle, as it is the time of year when new crops are planted. The fortunate event also signals the end of winter and the start of spring.
Pongal, which marks the start of the Sun’s northward shift known as Uttarayan, occurs every year in mid-January. The event takes place over four days, with Thai Pongal being observed on the second day. Devotees rise early in the morning on this day and prepare a lavish dinner. The day begins with ringing bells, rhythmic drum beats, and the echoing sounds of conch shells as the sun rises. The celebration is called after the traditional food ‘Pongal,’ which is made by boiling rice and milk in an earthen pot until it overflows. This is a symbol of good fortune and prosperity. With rice being symbolic of prosperity and food, this symbolises the commencement of the celebrations.
Pongal is known by several names in various parts of the country. Makar Sankranti is the name given to it in some places, while Lohri is used in others. In Assam, it is known as Magh Bihu, while in West Bengal, it is known as Poush Sankranti. Regardless matter the labelling, the festival’s core remains consistent throughout.
Don’t forget to share the joy of the event with your loved ones as we get ready to enjoy the festivities. Here is a collection of lovely and meaningful wishes, messages, and quotes to add to the charm of Pongal 2021’s festivities.
A particular ritual is conducted on this day, in which rice and milk are boiled together in an earthen pot with a turmeric plant tied to it and left out in the open as a gift to the sun deity. Along with this, sugarcane sticks, coconuts, and bananas are available.
The kolam, a traditional artwork hand-drawn with lime powder at the door of households, is another essential part of this day. This auspicious artwork should be done first thing in the morning, after taking a bath.