Pongal is the harvest festival and the most important festival for the people of Tamil Nadu. Its history can be traced to the Sangam Age of more than 2000 years. The festivities last for more than 4 days usually in ‘thanksgiving’ to the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping farmers yield a bountiful harvest.
The festival is synonymous with the preparation of the traditional “Pongal” dish. It is prepared with freshly harvested rice boiled with ghee, milk, and jaggery. The sweet dish is usually spiced with cardamom, raisins, gram, and cashew nuts. The pot in which the dish is prepared is allowed to overflow to signify abundance and to wish for peace, prosperity, and wealth to overflow throughout the year. The ”Ven Pongal” a savoury variety is spiced with pepper, curry leaves, cumin seeds, and green chillies.
The people of Tamil Nadu living in different parts of the country make it a point to return to their home town to join family and friends in the festivities. The trains, buses, and flights are usually crowded with working professionals, eager to make in time for the festival. Deepam Taxi is a car rental company based out of Bangalore that has been helping people reach their loved ones for Pongal since 2007. Deepam Taxi’s outstation Taxi Service offer low cost car rental services to any destination in South India. It provides the best outstation taxi service in Bangalore. Its mission is to keep its customers happy by providing low cost car rentals. This affordable outstation taxi service in Bangalore is sure to keep everyone happy with safe, efficient and pocket pocket-friendly taxi rates.
Booking a two way outstation taxi will help every busy professional make a quick visit to their hometown and return back to Bangalore in time for work the next day. The taxi can also be utilized to visit friends and for local travel in the festive season.
Pongal is usually celebrated over 4 days, where each day is allocated for a particular activity and to serve a specific reason and purpose. The celebrations begin with a customary oil bath, followed by a visit to a temple to offer prayers and obeisance to their favorite gods.
Here are the important days and activities during the Pongal season. It starts with Bhogi Pongal and ends with enjoying a bull taming event called “Jallikattu”
1. Bhogi Pongal
Bhogi Pongal is dedicated to Lord Indra the God of the Cloud and Rains. The ritual in the day include setting up a bon fire to burn agricultural waste and household items at home which are old and unused. The bonfire is a time of great celebration for the young and little ones to indulge in joyful dancing and singing.
2. Thai Pongal
Thai Pongal usually celebrated on the 14th of January every year. Prayers & Thanksgiving are offered as a tribute to the Sun God for the enormous blessings bestowed in ensuring a bountiful harvest. People pray that his grace continue for the coming year by praying for an abundant crop and to fill the land with enormous wealth and prosperity. The woman folk clean and decorate their homes with the traditional “Kolam” a set intricate drawings using rice flour, coloured powder and chalk.
The highlight of the day is the delectable Pongal Afternoon Lunch which is a buffet of a wide variety of vegetarian delicacies including Ven Pongal, Sakkara Pongal, Tamarind Rice, Curd Rice, Rice With Sambar, Vada Bonda & Rice Payasam. Woman wear the traditional silk saree with the men decked in Pattu Veshti – special lungies woven in silk and bordered in Gold Zari.
3. Maatu Pongal
The word “Maatu” in Tamil means Bull, The day is utilized to thank for the hard working Bull which plays a vital role in plowing the fields, sowing the crops and helps in the harvest of the crop. It’s a special occasion when the land lords dine with the peasant who worked the entire season in a spirit of bonhomie casting away any restrictions based on caste and creed. The cattle of the village are bathed and decorated by painting the animal’s horn’s, decked with multi coloured beads, and foreheads are smeared in vermilion and turmeric. The cows are also adorned with garlands. The animal is offered “aarti” and served with sweet food like Jaggery, Gram and sugar cane.
4. Kaanum Pongal
Kaanum Pongal is the day of relaxation and enjoyment. People spend time socializing or visiting the homes of relatives. Tourist places like beaches and parks are usually choc-a-bloc with people having a fun time throughout the day. Kollywood – Tamil Nadu’s Film Industry has a field day during the Pongal week with big banner movie releases that vive to catch the cinema crazy people in Tamil Nadu. The Pongal Week rakes in 100’s or crores in box office collections every year.
5. Jallikattu Celebrations
Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport unique to Tamil Nadu. It is usually held on the 16th of January every year. Alanganallur in Tamilnadu is famous for conducting these events where 750 to 800 bulls and 300 to 400 bull tamers participate. The bulls are bred with a special diet for the occasion. This is done to arouse the animals before being let loose into an open area. Bull tamers usually young men, try taming the animal into submission by pulling the animal on the ground. A successful bull tamer can claim prizes that are tied around the neck of the animals.
Jallikattu was patronized by Tamil Kings in the medieval ages to keep the young men ready and fit for war. These events are strictly regulated by the government to ensure the safety of the animal and to avoid any human injury and casualties.
Pongal is a colourful festival, a time to meet loved ones, give thanks for a bountiful harvest and pray to God for continued prosperity and happiness. Festivals are an effervescent expression of a country’s glorious heritage, culture, and tradition. Festivals promulgate the message of love, tolerance, harmony, and benevolence that helps strengthen communities and makes every nation prosperous. Deepam Taxi wishes all its customers a Happy Pongal !!