Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, a southern state of India. Pongal, one of the most important popular Hindu festivals of the year.
Thai Pongal Celebration on?
Thai Pongal is celebrated on the first day of the Thai month falls on January 14 or 15. The name pongal refers to the traditional practice of preparing sweet rice infused with milk and jaggery in a new clay pot.
In fact the rice that is used for making pongal is also freshly harvested and boiled with brown sugar or jaggery and topped off with ghee, raisins and cashew nuts.
The traditional rice of pongal is usually prepared at sun rise. When the milk boils and spills over from the clay pot, the words “Ponggalo Ponggal” are traditional one and workship lord sun with sweet pongal , sugar cane and different variety of dishes.
Significance of Thai Pongal?
Thai Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu as well as in Sri Lanka.
The festival is celebrated to offer thanks to the Sun God and the livestock for creating the agricultural abudance.
The preparation of Pongal rice with freshly harvested rice and milk and and allowing the milk to spill over denotes abundance and good luck.
The pongal is prepared at early morning of sunrise and offered to lord sun to get wealthness all over the year.
The sweet pongal rice is then served to the others in the house along with other festive dishes such as murukku, vadai and paayasam.
Legend of Thai Pongal (Mount Govardhan):
The first day of the festival Bhogi Pongal has an association with legend of Lord Indra (the God of clouds and rains) and Lord Krishna.
Earlier, people used to worship Lord Indra who was the King of the deities. This honor given to Lord Indra made him full of pride and arrogance. He thought himself to be the most powerful of all the beings. When child Krishna came to know about this he thought of a plan to teach him a lesson.
He persuaded his cowherd friends to worship Mt. Govardhan rather than Lord Indra.
This angered Lord Indra and he sent forth the clouds to generate non-stop thunder, lightning, heavy rains and flood the land.
Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Parvat on his little finger to protect the cowherds and the cattle.
He kept standing with the lifted mount to save all the humans from the ravaging storm of Lord Indra.
The rains continued for three days and at last Indra realized his mistake and divine power of Lord Krishna.
He promised humility and begged Krishna’s forgiveness.
Since then, Krishna allowed to let the Bhogi celebrations continue in honor of Indra.
Thus, the day gave the origin to the Pongal celebration.
How is Pongal celebrated in the other Indian States?
While Thai Pongal is celebrated in Tamil Nadu,
It is celebrated as Sankrranthi or Makara Sankranthi in major states of India such as Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Benngal, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Maharashtra, UttarPradesh and Manipur.
The harvest festival is celebrated as ‘Uttarayana’ in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The festival is observed as Lohri in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana.
In Assam, the festival is known as Magh Bihu while it is celebrated as Maghe Sankranthi in Nepal.
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