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Pongal: Celebrating a Bountiful Harvest

Pongal: Celebrating a Bountiful Harvest

Nithya remembers celebrating Pongal with her family when she was younger.

On Bhogi, the house was cleaned, kolam was drawn on the verandah and the Sun God and agricultural tools were worshipped. The family went through unwanted things at home and burnt it in the fire to represent that it was the beginning of a new time.

On Pongal, her mother cooked delicious Idlis, Dosas, Ulunthu Vada, Sambhar, Chutney and her favourite Chakkara Pongal. The food was placed on clean plantain leaves and devoured quickly. Everyone watched her create a small brick stove outside the house with rice and milk. When the Pongal steamed out of the pot, she joined her family to chant, “Pongalo Pongal”.

On Mattu Pongal, the day was dedicated to the ox and the cow. They were bathed, their horns painted, and a garland wrapped around the horn.

Popularly known as the ‘Festival of the Tamils’, Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in south India. Similar harvest festivals, Makar Sankranti and Lohri is also celebrated in other parts of the country.

 Pongal means “to boil, overflow” and refers to the dish prepared from the new harvest of rice boiled in milk with jaggery. This sweet dish is prepared and offered to the gods, the cows and then shared with the family.  The day is also celebrated as Uzhavar Thirunal (farmer’s festival). Everyone sits in the living room to peel and cut vegetables as familiar jokes or stories are shared. Festivities also include decorating cows and their horns and filling temple courtyards and home verandahs with kolams, offering prayers and getting together with friends and family.

This Pongal, prepare and bring home a grand celebration just as you would at your home in India. Cook delicious delicacies, create beautiful kolams and come together as friends and family. Celebrate Pongal festivities by buying all that you need from

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