The Pongal harvest festival has different names in the different parts of the country

January 14, 2021by emeraldtyres0

PONGAL

In a land of diverse culture, Indians celebrate a wide variety of festivals throughout the year. The most popular Pongal festival of Tami Nadu which marks the beginning of a new year is a four-day-long harvest festival that is celebrated in January. We know it’s time for Pongal when the crops are ripe and the sugarcane fields are ready for harvest.

The Pongal harvest festival has different names in the different parts of the country. It is known as Makar Sankranti and is celebrated over a few days throughout the country. In the first few days, several Gods are worshipping depending on which part of the country we are in.

Pongal in Tamilnadu 

The term ‘Pongal’ in Tamil means “to boil, overflow”. Clay pots filled with milk and rice are boiled to spill over in every home which signifies overflowing of happiness and prosperity in the coming year. With harvest comes the tradition of thanksgiving and prosperity. It is a festival that all Tamilians look forward too especially in the farmers’ community Pongal is a time of immense rejoicing. In the South, the most popular Pongal dish is cooked which is sweetened rice boiled with lentils. Homes are decorated with colourful kolams or designs on the front porch and the air of festivity fills every home.

Makar Sankrati in Andra Pradesh and Telangana 

The first four days in the state is called Bhogi, Sankranti, Kannuma, and Mukkanuma. On Bhogi, everything old and not in use is burnt which signifies an end to old habits. On the second day, homes are decorated, sweets are distributed and people wear colourful clothes to celebrate the occasion. Family and friends enjoy the rest of the days by making rangolis and flying kites. It is an atmosphere of great rejoicing all over.

Lohri in Punjab 

In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is celebrated for two days. On the 13th night, a Punjabi folk festival called Lohri is celebrated. The popular Bhangra dance is the highlight where men and women gather together in colourful attire and dance around the bonfire. Maghi is celebrated the next day by taking a refreshing dip in the river and by serving kheer, sweet dishes, and sugarcane juice. Local fairs or melas make the festival far more entertaining.

Uttarayan in Gujarat

In Gujarat, the celebration starts in the morning where the sky is covered with colourful kites called ‘Patang’ in Hindi. People are seen flying kites from open terraces and grounds. The famous kiteflying game called cutting the kites and shouting out ‘lapet lapet’ excites the young and the old.

Makar Sankranti Celebration in Uttarpradesh

Makar Sankranti is known as Kicheri in Uttarpradesh and is celebrated by having a bath in the river in the wee hours. The world’s largest pilgrimage gathering, Kumbh Mela takes place at Prayaga Sangam every 12 years. Millions of people gather and bathe in the Ganga river.

With immense fun and merriment, the Makar Sankranti festival is celebrated all over India. The festival not only has a religious significance but is wrapped up in cultural and social significance that makes it special in the hearts of the people.

In a land of diverse culture, Indians celebrate a wide variety of festivals throughout the year. The most popular Pongal festival of Tami Nadu which marks the beginning of a new year is a four-day-long harvest festival that is celebrated in January. We know it’s time for Pongal when the crops are ripe and the sugarcane fields are ready for harvest.

Significance of Pongal

The first day of Pongal, also known as Bhogi is an auspicious day for the people of Tamilnadu. Houses are cleaned and decorated; new clothes are bought for all the family members. Some even buy new clothes and furniture on this day. Pongal signifies ‘new beginning’.

On the second day of Pongal, known as perum Pongal, prayer to the Sun God is offered and sweets are distributed while on the third day, known as mattu Pongal cows are beautifully decorated with garlands and vermilion, folk dance of different types are performed and family gatherings are organised.


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