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Pongal 2024: Date, Time, History, Story Behind the Festival

Published Date: 09-Dec-2022

Pongal is a 4-day harvest festival that is celebrated mostly in the Southern part of the country. The day marks the start of the 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.

Check Pongal 2024 date, history, significance, how to celebrate, traditions, Pongal Dish, Pongal greetings, and places to observe in India.

What is Pongal Festival?

Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated in mid-January or at the start of the Tamil month of Thai. “Pongal” means “to boil” and “overflow” which refers to the traditional dish prepared from rice boiled in milk with jaggery.

When is Pongal 2024?

Pongal festival is a 4-day celebration with all the rituals. Pongal 2024 date is 15th January (Monday) to 18th January (Thursday).

Why do we Celebrate Pongal?

Pongal kolams

Pongal kolams

Pongal festival is dedicated to the Surya or Sun god and is celebrated to pay gratitude for the year’s harvest. During this time, crops such as rice, sugarcane, and turmeric are harvested, Happy Pongal wishes are exchanged between family and friends, and a big feast is held within every family. People make Pongal kolams with dots to represent the Sun and it is also considered a rangoli for Pongal.

Pongal History and Significance

15-January-2020 | Pongal 2020

14-January-2024 | Pongal 2024

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.

Story of Pongal Festival

There are many legends associated with Pongal background. 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 eating a piece of sugarcane.

Pongal Dish and Foods

Pongal dish

Pongal dish

Pongal dish is a sweet dish that is offered to the gods as a sign of gratitude. It is also a popular dish that is served to guests and visitors during the Pongal festival.

Pongal Recipe

The Pongal dish recipe is that it is made of rice with boiling milk and jaggery. Traditionally, it is prepared in a clay pot with a slow cooking process on a low flame.

Pongal Celebrations across India

15-January-2020 | Pongal 2020

14-January-2024 | Pongal 2024

Pongal is celebrated over a span of four days by Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu and outside. In 2024, the festival starts on January 15th and ends on January 18th.

4-Day Celebrations of Pongal Festival

Pongal is celebrated over a span of four days by Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu and outside.

Day 1 – Bhogi Pongal: 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. People thank Lord Indra (God of Rain) for the abundant harvest and prosperity brought to the land. People exchange Pongal greetings with each other.

Day 2 – Perum Pongal: 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 Pongal Kolams – designs drawn using rice flour and red clay.

Day 3 – Mattu Pongal: The third day is called Mattu Pongal and is celebrated by worshipping cattle as they are believed to give a good harvest. Cows are decorated with bells, multi-coloured beads, turmeric water, stalks of corn, and flower garlands. They are also fed pongal and taken to community centres.

Day 4 – Kaanum Pongal: Kanum Pongal is the fourth and concluding day of the festival and people celebrate it by going for picnics with friends and family, exchanging gifts and indulging in dancing and bull-taming contests. Birds are worshipped through a ritual where they are fed different Pongal dish items served on a turmeric leaf.

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.

Find out the Diwali Date 2024

Best Places to Observe Pongal 2024

Pongal is one of the majorly celebrated festivals in Tamil Nadu. Here are some of the famous places to observe during Pongal 2024:

1. Madurai

Madurai has many temples, fields, and villages all of which work hard to capture the true essence of Pongal. Despite the crowds, visiting the temples in Madurai during this festival is an unforgettable experience.

2. Thanjavur

Thanjavur is a city filled with ancient temples and mouth-watering food. During Pongal, the entire city becomes vibrant and the houses are decorated with Pongal kolams which are patterns drawn out with rice flour. Cows are also lined up by the owners to be worshipped at the Brihadeeshwara Temple.

3. Pollachi

Pollachi has great access to many stunning locations around the region. People do a spring cleaning, whitewash their homes, decorate their floors with colourful Pongal kolams and shop for new clothes.

4. Salem

Salem has a unique way of celebrating the Pongal festival. For this activity, the male members of the village will search the forests for a fox. They then carry it back to the village for everyone to see and worship before releasing it back into the wild.

5. Coimbatore

Coimbatore is a well-known textile hub in Tamil Nadu. Pongal is celebrated with a fresh coat of paint, kolams, and flowers, the residences all appear new and well-adorned.

Happy Pongal 2024 Wishes/greetings

Here are some famous Pongal wishes:

  • May the auspicious festival of Pongal bring you great harvests in the years to come. Happy Pongal 2024.
  • Sending you warm greetings on the happy occasion of Pongal. Have lots of fun on Pongal.
  • Let the warmth of the auspicious Pongal festival fill your home with joy. Have a wonderful Pongal.
  • Wishing that the auspicious festival of Pongal brings you everlasting peace and joy. May you get the gifts of good health and prosperity on this day. Happy Pongal 2024!
  • Between beautiful Pongal kolams, Pongal kolangal, and auspicious decoration, let us meet, greet and, of course, eat. Happy Pongal 2024!
  • Here comes the vessel, here comes the milk, here comes the first harvest rice. Pongal is ready, let us start the celebrations! Happy Pongal 2024.

Other Festivals in India with Holiday Type

Festivals in India Day Date Holiday Type
New Year’s Day Mon 01-Jan Restricted Holiday
Lohri Sat 13-Jan Restricted Holiday
Makar Sankranti Sun 14-Jan Restricted Holiday
Pongal Mon 15-Jan Restricted Holiday
Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti Wed 17-Jan Restricted Holiday
Republic Day Fri 26-Jan Gazetted Holiday
Losar Sat 10-Feb Restricted Holiday
Basant Panchmi Wed 14-Feb Restricted Holiday
Guru Ravidas Jayanti Sat 24-Feb Gazetted Holiday
Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati Jayanti Wed 6-Mar Restricted Holiday
Mahashivratri Fri 8-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Holi Mon 25-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Good Friday Fri 29-Mar Gazetted Holiday
Easter Day Sun 31-Mar Restricted Holiday
Gudi Padwa Tue 9-Apr Restricted Holiday
Eid-ul-Fitr Wed 10-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Vaisakhi (Vishu) Sat 13-Apr Restricted Holiday
Rama Navami Wed 17-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Mahavir Jayanti Sun 21-Apr Gazetted Holiday
Rabindra Jayanti Wed 8-May Restricted Holiday
Buddha Purnima (Vesak) Thu 23-May Gazetted Holiday
Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) Mon 17-Jun Restricted Holiday
Rath Yatra Sun 7-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Muharram (Ashura) Wed 17-Jul Gazetted Holiday
Independence Day Thu 15-Aug Gazetted Holiday
Parsi New Year’s Day (Nauraz) Thu 15-Aug Public Holiday
Raksha Bandhan (Rakhi) Mon 19-Aug Restricted Holiday
Janmashtami Mon 26-Aug Restricted Holiday
Ganesh Chaturthi Sat 7-Sep Restricted Holiday
Onam Sun 15-Sep Restricted Holiday
Milad-un-Nabi or Id-e- Milad Mon 16-Sep Gazetted Holiday
Gandhi Jayanti Wed 02-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dussehra Sat 12-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Valmiki Jayanti Thu 17-Oct Restricted Holiday
Karva Chauth Sun 20-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Dhanteras Tue 29-Oct Restricted Holiday
Diwali Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Kali Puja Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Lakshmi Puja Thu 31-Oct Gazetted Holiday
Halloween Day Thu 31-Oct No Holiday
Karnataka Rajyotsava Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Kerala Piravi Fri 1-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Govardhan Puja Sat 2-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Bhai Dooj Sun 3-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Chhath Puja Thu 7-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Guru Nanak Jayanti Fri 15-Nov Gazetted Holiday
Christmas Wed 25-Dec Public Holiday


Q. What is the difference between Onam and Pongal?

A. Onam is the festival of the Asura king Mahabali’s homecoming and Parashurama’s raising the land of Kerala from the sea, while Pongal is a festival of gratitude to the Sun God and the Earth.

Q. Is Pongal a dish or a festival?

A. Pongal is also a dish that is made at the Pongal festival. The Pongal recipe is made of rice boiled in milk and jaggery.

Q. Pongal is celebrated in which state?

A. Pongal festival is celebrated in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Sargun Preet Kaur
Sargun has an appetite for challenges and creative hurdles that can help her grow as she conquers them one by one. With an innate desire to travel the world, she weaves through life by visiting her dream destinations. When not in her creative zone, Sargun loves to smash in badminton and binge-watch her favourite shows.
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