Pongal (Tamil:பொங்கல், Telugu:పొంగల్, Malayalam:തൈപ്പൊങ്കൽ) or Thai Pongal is celebrated as the most important harvest festival in Tamil Nadu. It commemorates the blessings of the Sun God that leads to a good harvest and prosperity in life. It derives its name from the special sweet dish that is prepared on this day to be offered to the God of worship.
Pongal coincides with the festival of Makar Sankranti, which is celebrated throughout India.
Pongal 2021 is on January 14, Thursday
Pongal 2020 was on January 15, Wednesday
Women preparingPongal dish as part of Pongal celebration
When is Pongal celebrated?
Pongal is celebrated in the Tamil calendar month of Thai. It is a four day long festival that commences on the last day of the month of Margazhi and ends on the third day of Thai. According To the Gregorian calendar, it falls between 13-16th ofJanuary every year.
Read also: Get to know all about Pongal and Jallikattu
Story behind Pongal
The most famous story behind Pongal is that of Lord Krishna in Gokula. Lord Indra, the God of rains flooded Gokula out of rage. Lord Krishna saved the people of the village by lifting the huge Govardhana Mountain on his little finger. Finally Lord Indra seeked forgiveness and redeemed prosperity to the people of Gokula.
Another story is of Nandi, the famous bull of Lord Shiva. Once the deity asked Nandi to go on earth and preach the message that people on earth should eat only once a month and have a bath everyday. But Nandi did just the opposite. He spread the message that 'humans should eat everyday and take a bath only once a month'. This left Lord Shiva enraged and he ordered Nandi to remain on Earth and help humans in reaping a harvest so that they could have enough food for them to be consumed everyday.
Women busy making sweet pongal during a programme organised to celebrate Pongal
Rituals of Pongal
The celebration of Pongal is a four day long festival:-
The first day is celebrated as Bhogi Pongal---This day is dedicated to Lord Indra. On this day people light bonfires in front of their houses and all old clothes and stuff are burnt in the sacred fire. Houses are cleaned and decorated with 'kolams' made of rice flour paste and red mud. Cow dung cakes and pumpkin flowers are also used for decoration.
The second day is celebrated as Surya Pongal---first day of 'Thai' and is dedicated to the Sun God. People cook the traditional sweet dish called 'pongal' made of rice and lentils boiled in milk and jaggery. This is offered to the Lord and large images of the Sun God are made over the ground for worship.
The third day is celebrated as Mattu Pongal - this is dedicated to the cattle which are considered an inevitable part of the agricultural society. The cows and oxen are given a bath, decorated with ornaments and flowers and are offered the 'pongal' that was cooked for worship. Bull fights are organized on this day as part of the festive spirit of Pongal.
The final day is Kanya Pongal - on this day sisters pray for the health and well-being of their brothers. This day is also dedicated to the fowl and birds and cooked rice in the form of small pellets is fed to them.
Sweet pongal being cooked inside earthen pots on brick stoves on the occasion of Makar Sankranti
Authentic Famous Pongal Recipes
Food brings together happiness, good health, blessings and prosperity. Make your Pongal more blessed by learning how to make a whole lot of tradtional Pongal recipes to fill your tummies! These are pure recipes, taken straight from the old grandmother's cookbooks. Prepare them and enjoy the nostaligic feeling of Traditional Pongal
Important Timings On Pongal
|Sunrise||January 15, 2020 7:14 AM|
|Sunset||January 15, 2020 5:57 PM|
|Sankranti Moment||January 15, 2020 2:14 AM|
|Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More|
Pongal festival dates between 2017 & 2027
|2017||Saturday, 14th of January|
|2018||Sunday, 14th of January|
|2019||Tuesday, 15th of January|
|2020||Wednesday, 15th of January|
|2021||Thursday, 14th of January|
|2022||Friday, 14th of January|
|2023||Sunday, 15th of January|
|2024||Monday, 15th of January|
|2025||Tuesday, 14th of January|
|2026||Wednesday, 14th of January|
|2027||Friday, 15th of January|