Significance of mattu pongal:
Mattu Pongal is the third day of Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu. Mattu or Mathu means cattle or bull and the day is also known as Pongal of the cattle.
In 2014, Mattu Pongal date is January 15. Mattu Pongal is today famous for the bull fight known Jallikettu or Manji Virattu.
Mattu Pongal is a sort of thanksgiving to cow, which provides milk and organic manure or fertilizer, and bull, which draws the plough.
On the morning of Mattu Pongal, the cattle are herded to the pool, where they are bathed and decorated. Horns are painted and are capped with special metal caps. The bulls are also adorned with garlands, trinkets and tinkling bells. They are given specially prepared Pongal and other goodies to eat. Special prayers are offered to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati and pongal dish is prepared and offered as ‘prasad’.
In the first half of the Mattu Pongal day, bulls are pampered and fed and in the next half, they are tortured in the name of Jallikettu and Manji Virattu – a sort of bull fighting.
Jallikettu Celebration details:
Ferocious bulls are specially handpicked and bags of coins are tied to the sharpened horns and they are let loose in an open ground. Young men try to subdue the bull barehanded.
The sport is highly popular in rural Tamil Nadu.Kanuma Festival held in Andhra Pradesh during Sankranthi is quite similar to the Mattu Pongal.
Significance Of Kaanum Pongal:
The fourth and the last day of Pongal is known as Kanumu(Kaanum pongal).
During Kanumu, blessings are received from elders. In Tamil Nadu, this day is also known as Virgin Pongal and is celebrated by unmarried girls by playing in the river and making pongal and eating it there. It’s customary for locals to give new clothes and money to the maids and servants employed in the house.
Kaanum is also the Tamil version of brother’s day. On this day, the women/sister’s offer different kinds of rice to birds and pray for the well-being of their brothers. This ritual is called "Kanu". Sisters visit their brothers and inquire about their welfare. Women eat the previous day’s food and pray for their brother’s prosperity and health.
It is the time to relaxation after the 3 days of festivals.On this day, people go for picnic and visit relatives and make a tour of the town. It is a day for the outdoors and most people throng out of home in the evening, making for a sea of humanity.