Pongal – Celebrating the Indian Harvest Festival

Pongal in South India is the biggest harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is celebrated with much enthusiasm (quite like Thanksgiving in America) to mark the withdrawal of the southeast monsoons, the end of winter and the beginning of the harvest season or spring as well as the reaping of the harvest and a special thanksgiving to God, the sun, the earth and the cattle.
Pongal is celebrated mostly in southern India on the same dates every year, January 14-17, 2013 particularly in the state of Tamil Nadu at the start of the Tamil month, Thai.
Pongal the four-days-long harvest festival ‘Bhogi’ is celebrated on January 13, ‘Pongal’ on January 14, ‘Mattu Pongal’ on January 15, and ‘Thiruvalluvar Day’ on January 16. Conically, it is celebrated during the same time as ‘Bhogali Bihu’ of Assam, and Makar Sankranti of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
As a part of Pongal celebrations it is marked with periods of plenty, peace and happiness. The houses are cleaned and decorated, the entranceways to the houses are decorated in the form of beautiful Kolams to feed the insects and gain their blessings for the household.
People wear new clothes, traditional delicacies sweets and delicacies are prepared. Bull fights, bird fights and community dinners are also held on this day.
The festival of Pongal is held particularly by the farming community as it marks the end of harvesting season.

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An Indian women applies coloured powder

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