Why do We Celebrate the Pongal Festival?- Importance in 2024

Pongal is one of the most well-known celebrations in south India among all the well-known Indian holidays. It is a significant cultural celebration spanning four days in January. But why is pongal greeted with such enthusiasm, do you know? The legends surrounding these celebrations began to fade from people’s memories as the world continued to change every day. However, in my opinion, there need to be a curiosity as to why these celebrations are honored and observed.

In case you are looking for Pongal insights, this blog post will be beneficial. You’ll discover why we celebrate Pongal here.

What is the Pongal Festival?

Pongal is celebrated as a harvest festival, emphasizing its function in honouring the productive winter harvest. The fact that the word “Pongal” comes from the Tamil word “Pongu,” which means “spill over” or “overflow,” emphasizes the idea that the event represents prosperity and abundance. The phrase “overwhelming happiness and rejoicing,” among other similar expressions, captures the joyous and festive spirit of Pongal.

The mention of Pongal being observed by South Indians, specifically in Tamil Nadu, clarifies the festival’s cultural background and implies that it is especially significant in this area. The shift in focus to examining the origins of its significance suggests a desire to learn more about the cultural and historical elements that contribute to Pongal’s significance and appeal as a beloved holiday. The preceding statement lays the groundwork for a deeper examination of the traditions, practices, and cultural significance of the celebration.

Why Do We Celebrate Pongal?

Pongal is a day on which people give special devotion to the Sun god, but it is also a celebration to show thanks for the bountiful harvest of rice fields. Hindu mythology uses the Sun god as a symbol of strength and nourishment. As a result, people celebrate this day by giving thanks to the sun, the earth, and livestock for the abundant harvest they have enjoyed all year long. This recognition stems from the fact that the sun is essential to agriculture and food production.

The Sangam literature has literary allusions to the celebration of a bountiful harvest, especially in poetry and other contexts, underscoring the holiday’s cultural and historical significance.

What Are the 4 Days of Pongal Called

Pongal is a four-day festival with varying customs and traditions that are very important.

Bhogi Pongal 

Today is Pongal, the day on which devotees and citizens choose to clean and adorn their homes. People tidy the house of items they no longer need or desire. Everyone decorates their homes in different ways and lights a bonfire to symbolize the destruction of the past and the beginning of a new era. This custom seeks to eliminate negativity from your surroundings and yourself.

Thai Pongal

As one of the important Pongal days, people look forward to and celebrate this day with tremendous enthusiasm. On this day, people make Pongal, a unique sweet delicacy made of rice, jaggery, milk, and ghee. In accordance with custom, the meal is made in a clay pot where the overflow represents fortune and a fresh start when the food boils. “Pongalo Pongal,” people or family members exclaim excitedly while the food boils. To show their thanks for the crop, devotees flock to temples, perform rites, and present their Pongal meal to the sun god. After presenting it to the Sun god, folks prepare additional special Pongal delicacies for the feast.

Mattu Pongal

Cattle, as you are aware, are extremely important to agriculture. Thus, it is regarded as the main pillar of prosperity. So, this is the third day of Pongal which is dedicated to honour and worshipping cattle like cows and oxen.

Cows and other livestock are decorated on the day of Mattu Pongal by bathing them and adorning them with flower garlands. Cattle races and other traditional activities are held in some areas to promote unity and recollections among the populace.

Kaanum Pongal

As the fourth and last day of Pongal, many opt to go on trips and activities with their loved ones to spend quality time with them. When they drop by a friend’s house, some individuals exchange gifts and greetings. People offer prayers for their loved ones and ask elders for blessings on Kaanum Pongal. However, they also practice folk dances like Kolattam and Mayilattam as well as traditional art forms.

Pongal’s Cultural and Traditional Significance

Though seen as a secular celebration, it holds religious significance as well, with people thanking the Sun deity for the abundant harvest. Pongal is a four-day celebration celebrated for a variety of customary and cultural practices, including house cleaning, house decorating, floor painting with kolam, or flower designs, and more. In addition to cooking together, folks use this time to celebrate the custom by dancing and listening to traditional music. Pongal is a major celebration with great significance in Tamil Nadu, even though it is also observed in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. People typically worship other deities and their idols in their homes, and each region has its own unique cultural norms.

Celebrate Pongal to Cultivate Happiness

The Pongal celebration, which is regarded as one of the oldest, has strong ties to agricultural significance and cultural legacy. Despite its religious origins, the celebration has a deep connection to nature, the seasons, and the harvest.

And no matter how much we move away from customs and advance technologically, the significance of Pongal has stayed constant, and it is still joyfully and enthusiastically observed.

About The Author

Knowledge Glow

I am Komal Gupta, the founder of Knowledge Glow, and my team and I aim to fuel dreams and help the readers achieve success. While you prepare for your competitive exams, we will be right here to assist you in improving your general knowledge and gaining maximum numbers from objective questions. We started this website in 2021 to help students prepare for upcoming competitive exams. Whether you are preparing for civil services or any other exam, our resources will be valuable in the process.

Related Posts