Pongal Festival Essay in 500 Words
Pongal is the biggest and the most famous festival of the Tamil community in Tamil Nadu and the Pondicherry state of India. It is a four days festival and is celebrated by the farmers as a thanks-giving in the harvesting season.
Every year it falls on 14th or 15th January. Pongal means to boil or overflow and is named after a traditional dish made from the harvest of rice cooked in milk with jaggery. Moreover, it is a form of devotion offered to Sun God.
The four days of the Pongal festivals are-Bhogi, Surya, Mattu and Kaanum Pongal. The festival is not restricted to India but celebrated by the Tamilians who reside in other countries like Malaysia, Mauritius, Singapore and South Africa.
History of Pongal Festival
According to Sanskrit scholars, the history of Pongal dates back to the Chola period where it appears on numerous texts and inscriptions. The festival has been given different names like-Ponakam, Tiruponakum and Ponkal.
From Chola dynasty to Vijayanagara Empire, major Hindu temples display inscriptions of the recipe which is similar to the Pongal dish. Also, the legends describe the method of celebrating the festival.
Days of the Pongal Festival
The festival is observed for four days-Bhogi, Surya, Mattu and Kaanum Pongal.
Bhogi Pongal – The festival commences on the day of Bhogi Pongal as it marks the last day of the Tamil month. It is dedicated to the rain Lord Indra as they offer prayers and ask them to bless with the prosperity of their agricultural land. The people also express their respect by dancing and singing songs around the bonfire, which is made from agriculture waste and household woods. Houses get washed, cleaned and painted to give a festive look. Even the horns of oxen and buffaloes are painted.
Mattu Pongal – This festival is similar to the celebration of the Maharashtrian community called Pola, where cow worship is paramount and significant to the farmers. On this day, they decorate cows with multicoloured beads, tinkling bells, paint their horns, and flower garlands. Then the cows are taken to the village centres where everybody gathers to praise the cow’s makeover and are worshipped with Aarti to revere the decked up cows. The whole surrounding is filled with fun and enjoyment. Other events, like the cattle race and various sports games, are organized to celebrate the festival.
Surya Pongal – It is the most important of all as it is celebrated to venerate Hindu God Surya (Sun). The day is celebrated with relatives and friends by preparing the famous dish called Pongal. The dish is cooked in an earthen pot which is adorned with turmeric and flower garland. Women even sing songs while cooking the dish. Before eating, the meal is offered to Gods, Goddesses and cows and then shared among each other.
Kaanum Pongal – this marks the last day where the leftovers of the Pongal dish, coloured rice, betel leaves and nuts, two pieces of sugarcane and other cooked meals are placed on the washed turmeric leaf in the courtyard. All the women assemble and pray for the well-being and prosperity of their brother and other family members, followed by an Aarti.
India is a land of agriculture experiences changes in a season which plays a crucial role in farming activities. The farmers anxiously wait for the monsoon so that they can produce a good harvest for others and their family.
The festival is scared to them as they value and express their gratitude to the Gods, who bestowed his blessings on them. The entire atmosphere is infused with positivity and enthusiasm. Members of the family, friends, and neighbours unify and celebrate it with happiness. It is not only a form of thank-giving but the love towards their land and mother earth.
Essay on Pongal Festival in 250 Words
India is a country of diversity. Numerous festivals are celebrated due to its secular nature. One such festival is Pongal which is celebrated in the southern part of India called Tamil Nadu.
It is the famous festival among the Tamil community. It falls on 14th or 15th of January every year. As soon as the winter solstice is over, this festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of harvest season. It is also known as the month of weddings. People believe that the festival brings good wishes, health, prosperity and peace for the family.
The festivals are divided into four days to worship God of Sun and Rain, to express love for the cows and to end it with expressing profound gratitude to Mother Nature. The four names are-Bhogi, Surya, Mattu and Kaanum Pongal.
The first is Bhogi Pongal which is dedicated to Lord Indra, traditionally known as Rain God, to offer thanks for the lovely harvest.
The second is Surya Pongal celebrated to acknowledge Sun God by preparing their famous signature dessert known as Pongal dish.
The third day is celebrated to respect their friend-cows. They are embellished with paint, flower garlands, colourful beads etc. Everybody worships the cow with an Aarti followed by dancing and singing.
The fourth and the last one is Kaanum Pongal, where the leftovers of the three days festival are placed on the turmeric leaf along with other dishes in the centre of the courtyard. Women gather there and pray for the prosperity, health and happiness of their family members.
The four-day festival is celebrated by everyone with great happiness, as it is believed that Pongal is the festival known as the harbinger of hope and joy.
10 sentences about Pongal Festival
- Pongal festival is the most prominent and well-known harvest festival of the Tamil Community.
- It is celebrated for four days in southern parts of India.
- The four days have different types of activities based on the significance of each day.
- The word Pongal means to boil or overflow.
- People express their gratitude to the Gods for a good harvest and better livelihood.
- A famous sweet dish called Pongal is prepared from boiled rice, jaggery and milk which are allowed to spill.
- Not only in India, but it is celebrated in Malaysia, Mauritius and Singapore.
- The Sun God and Rain God are offered prayers in the form of thanks-giving.
- Cows are decorated to regard their existence and help they render while farming.
- The festival is believed to bring joy, happiness and prosperity among the community.