Pongal is an important festival in India, and we pray to the Sun God on this occasion. In North India, it is known as Sankaranthi. The sun is very powerful and helps in the growth of the paddy and other plantations. So this festival is very important for farmers and so it is celebrated in a grand manner in villages. The house is cleaned, and all maintanance jobs are done before this festival. During the four day festival, different varieties of Rangoli are drawn in front of the houses early in the morning.
The celebrations start on the last day of Margazhi, which is known as “Bhogi”. On this day, we get up very early in the morning, take head bath. We place all the trash in front of the house and inflame it. We dispose old and useless things from our house and replace with new ones. Then we draw rangoli in front of the houses.
Reaping of paddy is done. Using the new rice, the recipe “pongal” is made and offered to God. The sun God moves in chariot driven by seven horses.A picture of the chariot is drawn in an open space when the sun arrives. A small sun is drawn at the center of the chariot. We place turmeric sprigs and sugarcane in the pooja and pooja is done onto the chariot. Then the dishes are offered to God. Once the pooja is over, everyone in the house takes a small amount of Pongal and sprinkles all over the house, saying “Pongalo Pongal”. This is done as a prayer to God to bless their houses.
The next day is maattu Pongal – pongal for the cows. Cows are worshipped on this day. Milk suppliers decorate the cows. They paint the horns, apply colours and tie clothes on the cows. Then they take the cows to all the houses.
People go out for places and enjoy this day. This is a day to spend time and entertainment outside.