Sunday, January 12, 2020

Celebration of Harvest – Pongal Festival

Pongal, the traditional festival of Tamils is left by two days. Tradition is something I always admire and I believe everything has some scientific reasons behind our customs and traditions what in later days turned relevant to faith. Pongal, the harvest festival of south India is a thanksgiving to farmers, cattle’s and nature in support of cultivation, though it is celebrated all over India in different names and custom, the core intention was to stand up for the farmers who the reason for our daily food.

A simple Pongal  kolam or rangoli from the neighborhood, last year.
Mostly, Pongal is a festival celebrated grandly and traditionally in villages and small towns where the farmers and the related sources exist. But in cities I feel we almost lost the touch of real essence of Pongal – the earthen pots, which brings a connection between earth and us and in combination of firewood produce a distinct flavour what any other utensils could promote and the bubbling up of pot with rice is another cheerful part believed to bring auspicious to home and hope to life. And that’s why I try to celebrate Pongal in traditional way each year, even though we couldn’t live up to farmers and villagers dedication I try the best to convince parents to celebrate/cook Pongal in pot and firewood.

I see Pongal brings new spirit to life and by celebrating the festival I feel grateful for the farmers and anything related to farming and food processing. ‘Suriya Pongal’ is another aspect of the festival devoted to prime source Sun (Suriya-n) where the Pongal pot is placed in open area where the sunlight falls, and by boiling the rice from newly harvested crop is a way of thanking its light and energy fuelling in cultivating crops. And ‘Thai Pongal’ is another term refers to Pongal which meant the beginning of Tamil month Thai, according to Tamil calendar, and the month when the harvest begins is believed to bring hope and ways to live with harvested grains.

A earthen pot on firewood stove  getting ready to cook Pongal, from the previous pongal festival a couple of years back.
This year the Pongal extends into the weekend, following Pongal, Maattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal on 15, 16 and 17 respectively to 18 and 19 as weekend. Though the holidays doesn’t going to do anything with me or change across, but I could end up watching TV programs on special days after try to make firewood Pongal in the balcony, just like the previous year, and others could be the routine. One thing special about this Pongal is I gonna watch the programs and movies in my new big Led TV. Lol

Though Pongal is a piece of cake to us compared to villages and small towns where the celebration is whole, I always try to connect the feel and think back the times at grandparents’ home and visits to villages on Maattu (Bull) Pongal to take part in their celebrations, where cattle’s are decorated and their shelters being cleaned and worshiped and kids taking joy rides in bullock carts, to cherish myself to pick up the energy to go further. I think a festival mood couldn’t be enrich unless added some people to make my belief true that festivals are to be celebrated together with people rather making it a custom to celebrate alone or mark it as holidays only. I always wish to celebrate festivals along with people or at least surrounded by dear ones. I wish people from India a Happy Pongal and Makar Shankranti!


Sandi said...

We have so much to celebrate in our big wide world. I enjoyed reading about this festival, Jeevan. I hadn't heard of it before.

George said...

Thank you so much for explaining the Pongal festival and its significance to us. I hope you have a very special and meaningful Pongal celebration.

ashok said...

The festival of Colors ! Advance Pongal wishes Jeevan

bill burke said...

Thanks for explaning the Pongal festival, I never heard of this festival before. I hope you have a very nice celebration of the festival.

Destination Infinity said...

Wishing you and your family a very happy pongal :)

Destination Infinity

carol l mckenna said...

Fascinating information about celebrating Pongal ~ and wonderful photo of the earthenware pot on the burning wood ~ Happy Festival to you and your family ^_^

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eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeevan,

Thanks for sharing the Pongal Festival! I would think it is special to celebrate the festival in the traditional way. I wish you a Happy Pongal.

Lady Fi said...