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 2024 is on January 15, Monday

Pongal 2023 was on January 15, Sunday

Image Source: IANS

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.

Pongal images Image Source: IANS

Women busy making sweet pongal during a programme organised to celebrate Pongal

4 Day Rituals of Pongal 2023

The Pongal is a four day festival. The celebrations start on the first day as Bhogi Pongal and end with Kaanum Pongal. The important days of Pongal 2023 are as follows:-

Bhogi Pongal: The first day, January 14, is celebrated as Bhogi Pongal.
This day is dedicated to Lord Indra. On this day people light bonfires, like the festival of Lohri in Punjab, 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.

Surya Pongal: The second day, January 15, is celebrated as Surya Pongal.
The first day of 'Thai', and is dedicated to the Sun God, also called Makar Sankranti in other parts of India. 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.

Mattu Pongal: The third day, January 16, is celebrated as Mattu Pongal.
This day 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.

Kaanum Pongal: The fourth day, January 17, is Kaanum Pongal or 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.

Pongal festival Image Source: IANS

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

SunriseJanuary 15, 2023 7:14 AM
SunsetJanuary 15, 2023 5:57 PM
Sankranti MomentJanuary 14, 2023 8:49 PM
Place : Ujjain [ India ] See More

Related Events

Bhogi2023 Jan 14 Saturday
Mattu Pongal2023 Jan 16 Monday
Kaanum Pongal2023 Jan 17 Tuesday

Pongal festival dates between 2020 & 2030

2020Wednesday, 15th of January
2021Thursday, 14th of January
2022Friday, 14th of January
2023Sunday, 15th of January
2024Monday, 15th of January
2025Tuesday, 14th of January
2026Wednesday, 14th of January
2027Friday, 15th of January
2028Saturday, 15th of January
2029Sunday, 14th of January
2030Monday, 14th of January

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