Pongal is a 4-day harvest festival that is celebrated mostly in the Southern part of the country. The day marks the start of sun’s six-month northwards journey and its movement towards the zodiac Capricorn (Makar). The days hold great value to the people of Tamil Nadu, who thank the Sun God on this day and appreciate it for providing the energy that helps in growing crops.
Pongal History and Significance
The history of Pongal dates back to over 2000 years. It is believed that people in the ancient Chola Empire days also used to celebrate the festival.
There are many legends associated with Pongal. One such legend says that Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan Mountain on his little finger on the first day of Pongal, Bhogi, to protect people and cattle from the wrath of Lord Indra. Another legend talks about a miracle that Lord Shiva performed, where he made a stone image of an elephant eat a piece of sugarcane.
Pongal Celebrations across India
Pongal is celebrated over a span of four days by Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu and outside. In 2020, the festival starts on January 15th and ends on January 18th. The first day of the celebration is known as Bhogi. On this day, people burn their old and unwanted household items and buy new products.
Pongal is celebrated over a span of four days by Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu and outside. The first day of the celebration is known as Bhogi. On this day, people burn their old and unwanted household items and buy new products.
The second day, called Perum Pongal or Surya Pongal, is the most important day as people worship the Sun God and his companions, Chaya and Samgnya. On this day, women of the families decorate their houses with Kolams – designs drawn using rice flour and red clay.
The third day is called Mattu Pongal and is celebrated by worshipping cattle as they are believed to give a good harvest. Kanum Pongal is the fourth and concluding day of the festival and people celebrate it by going for picnics with friends and family, exchange gifts and indulge in dancing and bull taming contests.
Pongal is celebrated as different festivals in different parts of the country. In Punjab, people celebrate Lohri, while in Assam, it is celebrated as Bhogali Bihu.
Best Places to Observe Pongal
Other Holidays in January 2020
|Event / Festival||Day / Date||Holiday Type|
|New Year’s Day||Wed 01-Jan-2020||Restricted Holiday|
|Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti||Thu 02-Jan-2020||Restricted Holiday|
|Lohri||Mon 13-Jan-2020||Restricted Holiday|
|Makar Sankranti||Wed 15-Jan-2020||Restricted Holiday|
|Republic Day||Sat 26-Jan-2020||Gazetted Holiday|
|Basant Panchmi||Wed 29-Jan-2020||Restricted Holiday|