Representing the rural rituals, Pongal or “boiling over” holds a great importance in life of Tamalians. Encompassing varied expressions of life for example cleanliness, plants and animals, feast, harvest, and relationship bonds, this festival is indeed a time to go for big celebrations like decorating the cows, processions and stunning rangolis. Well, it contains huge series of merriment rolled into one huge fiesta and thus pay gratitude to the Mother Nature, God, Earth and their Cattle for some miraculous harvest like rice, sugarcane, turmeric, and cereals.
Bhogi Pongal (14th January) followed by Surya is the first and the foremost festivity that takes place on the last day of Tamil month. Pongal is celebrated on the next day. It is the only day when Chakkara Pongal (15th January), a yummy delight of harvest rice is prepared with jaggery, cashew nuts and ghee and is then offered to the Sun God. Subsequently, on the third day of Mattu Pongal( 16th January), which is typically committed to the Cattle when cows are bathed and decked out with multi-hued flowers and beads. However, the fourth day, the last day is relevant because of Jallikattu, which talks about the the bullfight popular as Kannum Pongal (17th January).
In this way, we can say that the harvest festival of Pongal is the true manifestation of the reverence of the first fruit. Although originally it was meant for the farming community only but now whole Tamil celebrates it. Rather awaits for it in advance and as a result of those south Indians who are settled somewhere in north celebrate it on second day which coincides with Makara Sankaranti called Pongal Sankranti.
One of the blissful Indian festivities, Pongal is very much popular in Tamil Nadu, South India as a well-known harvest festival. Coloring the entire mid of January with vibrancy and enjoyment, Pongal marks the promising beginning of Uttarayan - sun's journey northwards and continues for four days. Its main draws are swinging, drawing of Kolam and brewing of mouth-watering Pongal.