Pongal (Harvest Festival)

Pongal (Harvest Festival) is celebrated in January. It is celebrated to pay tribute to the Sun God, as well as Nature and cattle. Pongal is also celebrated to mark the harvesting of crops. Pongal in Madurai is observed for three days.

The first day of the festival, which is called Bogi, is marked by a lot of festivities. On this day, the people of the city paint their house. They also remove old articles from their house and decorate it with new ornamentations. The second day of the festival is known as Pongal. Festoons of mango leaves mark this occasion in Madurai. On the third day, known as Mattu Pongal, the inhabitants of the city pay tribute to the cattle.

Bogi is associated with the legend of Lord Indra and Lord Krishna. It said that in order to teach Lord Indra a lesson, Lord Krishna persuaded his friends to worship Mount Govardhan, instead of Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra, who sent rain and flood. Lord Krishna lifted the mount on his little finger. Thus he saved the people from heavy rainfall and also taught a lesson to Lord Indra.

Furthermore, the festival of Pongal is also marked by a lot of festivities and preparation. Pongal recipes form an integral part of the festivities. Ven Pongal, Chackra Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal, Rice Pongal, Rava Pongal and Khara Pongal are some of the important recipes that are prepared during this occasion. Some of the other recipes that are prepared during Pongal are Soft Idlis, Pineapple Rasam, Paper Dosai, Boonda, Rajma Curry, Rice and Green Gram Dhal Pongal, Milk Payasam and Bread Idli.

Last Updated on 9/15/2011