Thursday, 17 January 2008

Pongal - The harvest festival # 3

The third day of Pongal is dedicated to cattle and is called Mattu Pongal. People offer prayers to the bulls, cows and other farm animals. Cows and bulls have always held a special place in India and are considered sacred. Cows give nourishing milk while bulls and oxen help plough the fields playing a very important role in harvesting especially in olden days.

Thus, Maatu Pongal is a day when cattle are given a well deserved day of rest and are given pride of place. Therefore the farmers honor their cattle friends by celebrating it as a day of thanks-giving to them.

On this special day cows are decorated with flowers ,their horns are painted with various colors and covered with shining metal caps, color beads and tinkering bells . They are also offered special food especially cooked for them and are taken around the villages with the people sitting on the carriages behind and enjoying the day.

Jallikatu(Bull fight) is also a part of the paatu pongal celebrations in various parts of the state.

The fourth and the final day of the pongal celebrations is the Kaanum pongal , this day is again dedicated to the sun god which has played a major part in giving some wonderful harvest to the farmers .

In certain parts of the state this day is also celebrated similar to Rakhsa Bandhan and Bhai Dhuj where women offer prayers for the wellbeing of their brothers.

And the most important event here is visiting relatives , friends and outing with family. So, you can find most of the entertainment centres, beach, shopping malls overflowing with people today.

So, thats how the four day pongal celebrations proceed in South India. To read how the first two days of pongal are celebrated click here and here.


preetilata said... 2 knw so much abt this festival ...u hv described it with so much fine details n pics r simply lovely.

Vasanthan said...

Looks like when i come to Chennai you can be my travel guide, you know so much. keep up the good work!