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happy pongal
festival.in.peperonity.net

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Pongal is the harvest festival of India, celebrated mainly in Tamil Nadu. Read this article to know more about Pongal.

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Pongal is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. On this day, people thank God for a bountiful harvest. They prepare a special dish called 'Sarkkarai Pongal' andpray for the blessings of Sun God. One of the most popular Tamil festivals, it is celebrated on January 14th every year, when it coincides with Makar Sankranti celebrations in entire North India, Lohri in Punjab, Bhogali Bihu in Assam and Bhogi in Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the very few Dravidian festivals that have survived the Indo-Aryan influences. Pongal also finds little reference in Puranas.

Falling just after the winter solstice and a bountiful harvest, Pongal marks the season of celebration and joyous activities and it is celebrated continuously for four days. On the first day, Bhogi Pongal, celebrations are confined to the house. Evil spiritsare driven out of the home and burnt in bonfires, and the houseis whitewashed. The second day, Surya Pongal, honors the Sun god. Members of the family wearnew clothes and cook - on a new stove and in new pots - a dish with the newly harvested rice, jaggery and moong dal.
The third day is Maattu Pongal, honoring cattle. Cows and bullocks are washed, decorated and worshipped, for their role inensuring a good harvest. Pongal also marks the beginning of a New Year and is the day to praise and thank God with full devotion, faith and sincerity of heart. The festival covers all living beings including humans, cattle and birds and crops. Even the insects are not overlooked and offered rice and flour, in theform of 'Kollam', on the entranceway of the houses. Thus, Pongal is a day for peace and happinessfor all.

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