Pongal is a four days crop festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, in southern state of India. For as long as people have been planting and gathering foodstuff, there has been various form of harvest festival. Pongal is one of the most significant popular Hindu festivals of the year. This four day celebration of thanksgiving to our environment takes its name from the Tamil word which stands for “to boil” and is held in the month of January-February, during the season when rice and crops, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an important ingredient in Tamil cooking) are harvested.
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January is an important time in the Tamil calendar. The harvest festival, Pongal, falls normally on the 14th or the 15th of January and is the standard ‘Tamil Festival’. Pongal is a harvest festival, a traditional event for giving thanks to scenery, for celebrating the life cycles that give us food grains. Tamilians say “Thai pirandhaal vazhi pirakkum”, and consider that complicated family problems will be solved with the beginning of the Tamil month Thai that begins on Pongal day. This is habitually the month of weddings. This is not a blow in a largely agricultural community – the riches gained from a good yield form the economic basis for luxurious family occasions like weddings or any other celebration.
Harvest festival of Pongal is a most important gift giving festival in South India. Ritual of exchanging Pongal gifts multiplies the happiness of the festival and helps to build up stronger bonds of love and fellow feeling between friends, relatives and neighbors. All through the four days of the carnival people pay a visit to their families, relatives and exchange sweets or dry fruits or may be a thoughtful Pongal gift. Children are mainly excited about the festival. For them it is the occasion for wish fulfillment as all their elders are too enthusiastic to pamper them with the best of Pongal gift.
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We wish you a very happy Pongal 2018!
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