Pongal festival in India-Exhilarating Alanganallur Jallikattu 2018, Makara Shankaranthi|Pongal kolam
Pongal is an ancient harvest festival of India celebrating every year especially, in south India, Tamilnadu. Pongal is a four days festival comes in mid-January every year. The main objective of Pongal celebration is thanksgiving to nature and “sun” (sun is worship as a god in south India).Most importantly, farmers thanked the nature and sun for the growth of farming Land because agriculture is the backbone of India. Farmers are earning income by agriculture which done well with help of sun and nature. Pongal festival in Tamilnadu is more special than other state peoples.
Pongal Date for every year : 13 January to 16 January. Pongal will come as same date every year in Tamil calendar.
Pongal preparation method : Pongal means “boil” the rice mixing of moong dal, jaggery, ghee, nuts in it making as excellent sweet. Women will make a peculiar sound (Kolavai) while the boiling rice water overflowing from the Pongal pot. People are following this as their rituals. Sugarcane is next priority sweet in Pongal.
History of Pongal : Pongal has been celebrating from the Sangam period 200 B.C and it is started as Dravidian festivals. Now it is celebrating in India especially, in Tamilnadu.
Reason for Pongal : Pongal is an every year celebration and is a good starting for all especially for farmers. People are saying thanks for all goodness given by nature and sun god. They would pray at god to provide good rain and best weather condition for farming the land in upcoming months.
Pongal day’s celebration
Pongal celebration will be celebrating as four days festival. Every day contains unique rituals, activities, and customs doing by the people.
Bhogi : First-day of Pongal celebration is “bhogi“. People clean their home and burn all old goods into the bonfire outside of the home. By doing this, people believe that their sorrows and all problems will be solved and be getting ready to start a new year from the starting month.
Pongal Decoration and Rituals of Pongal
In first day evening, they tie poolaipoo (white ball like a shaped flower), mango leaves in front of the entrance to the home. Kaapu kattu is faith as to secure from bad things in life and rituals of Pongal. Some may paint their home before Pongal and decorated by flower Thoranam (series of flower hanging in all top of doors) is a Pongal decoration in home.
Thai Pongal : Second day of Pongal celebration named as “Thai Pongal” also called Makara shankaranthi . Thai Pongal is celebrating in the central place of their home by decorating maalai, flowers and making Pongal kolams(“maakolam” using rice flour)and prepare sweet Pongal by the wood fire stove. Sugarcane would place in the room while doing Pongal in pot. The Pongal pot is wrapped with turmeric with root. The Pongal pot decorated by drawing white rice flour and water mixer. After prepared sweet Pongal, it is served to the “sun” god then distributed to the family members and friends. Pongal wishes are also sharing with families and friends by giving Pongal gifts, Pongal greetings (Pongal greeting cards).
Makara Shankaranthi is celebrating by various names in north India as Lohri. Shankaranthi means god, it is believing that God will come every home at night late time to eat. So women would leave somewhat to eat in the pot. It’s one of the faiths in Pongal.
Significance of Makara shankaranthi : It is solar festival. The sun moves to the Makara raasi (Capricorn zodiac) the day would become longer than nights in upcoming days till equinox (earth passes through the centre of sun).
Third day of Pongal celebration is Mattu Pongal. Mattu Pongal is celebrating for cows, bull. This Mattu Pongal has celebrating by bathed and decorated cows and bull with colour powder, bell rope around the neck and treating as god. Mattu Pongal is the celebration of saying thanks to cows and bull which used to Plough the agriculture land and cow giving milk. Sweet Pongal would do in front of a cow outside of their home then serve to the cow after that serving to the families. Many Farmers’ families is run their life with the income of this agriculture.
Inevitable Jallikattu in Pongal
“Jallikattu” Special activity in Pongal : Jallikattu is a game with the bull also called “Manju Virattu“. The bull will subdue by the men in the Jallikattu ground. They will hang the arms of the bull and grab the humps in back of the bull to control it. Men who are get the bull under their control. They would get some price like gold, vehicle or any specific things.
Jallikattu shows the brave of men in Tamilnadu. Jallikattu happens in Madurai, Alanganallur. Alanganallur Jallikattu is famous in Tamilnadu. Many people around Tamilnadu will arrange car or bus to go and see this event.
Massive Marina Protest for Jallikattu
In 2017, Jallikattu game faced big problems to conduct because PETA (American animal rights organization restricted Jallikattu)after long struggle Jallikattu would happen 2017 by the strong protest of youngsters as well as women in Chennai and all over Tamilnadu. It has been massive “Marina protest for Jallikattu 2017“. They were protested to remove the Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu. People urged the central and state government to remove the prohibition of Jallikattu. Finally they won that protest. The government removed the ban on Jallikattu.
Exhilarating Jallikattu 2018
Jallikattu 2018 is more curious spectacle event waiting to see the people after Jallikattu prohibition problem. Jallikattu is a bull taming event, when open the vaadi vaasal (the gate of bull) in the ground. Jallikattu bull will enter the ground jump and run aggressively. The bull should be 4 feet height and 3 years. Jallikattu will happen in Avaniyapuram, Palamedu also in Madurai.
Dates of Jallikattu 2018 : Jan 14, 15, 16.
Fourth day of Pongal celebration in Tamilnadu is “kaanum Pongal”. Kaanum Pongal is celebrating as an outside trip by the people. People used to go for a picnic or any trip to enjoy the day. Mostly, people make a journey to see tourist attractions in many places. Some people may take bus or car to visit places with friends and families. It is celebrating as “Ulavar Thirunal” to respect the farmers.
Women will do kolams (drawing different designs) in front of house with different colours, different designs as Rangoli, Pongal pot, and flower kolams. In their streets, they will conduct kolam competitions also in some occasions.
Customs and Specific dress in Pongal : Men are used to wearing dhotis and shirt with angavastram (shoulder towel) but now may be changed due to the modern lifestyle. Women wear traditional pattu saree while preparing Pongal and doing prayers. People are used to wear a new dress on Pongal day.
Wearing new dress and making Pongal before rising sun in early morning is the customs of Pongal.
Pongal best harvesting time : Farmers harvest the agriculture land in Pongal time. Rice and other cereals will be harvested. Sugarcane harvesting is huge in Pongal time. Farmers present all their harvesting products in front of god during prayers to get the prosperity.
Palani paathayathirai : Palani paathayathirai will start from Pongal and end at thaipoosam. Devotees of the Lord Murugan will make paathayathirai (long walk without slipper to Palani temple).
Scientific change during Pongal : Pongal is celebrating at the ending time of winter; the sun moves to northern hemisphere. Warm weather season will be started from mid-January.
Scientific reason for celebrating Pongal is cleanliness, because the first day of Pongal people celebrating “bhogi” by burning unwanted things outside and germs present in the air makes the pure air in surroundings and which gives positive thought and start a fresh new life from starting of the year.
Pongal is a prosperous festival celebrating by people every year with a lot of faith in God and happiness for a new start in life.
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**This article taken from own knowledge and variant sources