Pongal – a festival I love the most– you know why??? Because I love eating yummy pongal 🙂 This year we celebrated pongal by waking up early in the morning, getting ready and preparing pongal on the stove. When we saw the pongal coming out of the stove right side, we screamed “pongalo pongal” with happiness.
We took photos, videos and mixed ingredients into the pongal like Arisii, vellam and more. After a while, I drank milk, and we went upstairs. I saw my mom planting sugarcane and I saw my Aachi putting rangoli on the ground and my Thatha helping everyone. Later we did pooja to sun god.
My Thaatha told the essence of thanking sun for growing crops throughout the year. Then we did pooja to the sugarcanes, turmeric, a cute ganesha made out of cow dung (Yes!! Our house help got us cow dung) , and the pongal which was prepared was also kept for pooja.
“We should always be thankful for the food we get,” said Aachi!! And then we took photos around the sugarcane. It was getting late so we all packed up and headed downstairs. I got blessings from my mom and Achi Thatha , and my favourite part-we ate the pongal which we prepared earlier. Yummmm it tasted super good because everyday we prepare in cooker but today it was in traditional pongal paanai (the brass pot) which is ancestral– Aachi , Thaatha told!!
The rest of the day we watched a movie together and later spoke about my grandparent’s childhood celebrations at the farms in their native. Then we watched Big Boss Season 5 finale! My favourite part of any festival is the elaborate planning and preparations which goes into it. Aachi, Thaatha make sure everything is ready so that the celebration is joyful like Aachi kept all the god’s articles cleaned previous day, the ancestral utensils ready. Thaatha had picked all the flowers, fruits and items from market. Amma tied mango leaves to door, making ellu bella packets previous night. All new dresses were kept in the Pooja room. Something to learn, isn’t it 🙂
And me? I was running around the house and planning to write this story already!!
I learnt pongal is celebrated on 4 days in Tamil Nadu!!
Day 1– Bhogi Pongal- On this day people discard old belongings and celebrate new possessions . We also had decluttered our home and burnt old things too. Aachi said that’s why cleaning is important.
Day 2– Surya Pongal– Thanking Sun god for helping us grow crops throughout the year. Thaatha said that’s why we celebrated it on terrace under the SUN!!
Day 3– Maattu Pongal– The day we worship our cattle. There is even a sport called jallikattu that is played in Tamil Nadu on this day!! In their childhood, my grandparents have enjoyed watching it!
Day 4– Kanum Pongal—Many families hold reunions on this day. Communities organize social events to strengthen mutual bonds. Alas!! We neither travelled nor went out this year like we do every year due to covid restrictions!!!
I always love to listen to the stories and traditions that are associated with our festivals and celebrations, I have understood that Pongal is a festival of HARVEST– to honour our crops, farmers and also the cattle!! We should always respect farmers as they are the backbone of our nation, be thankful to every grain of food we get, and not forget our traditions and culture in name of advancement and learn from our parents and grandparents and take it forward.
Hope you all enjoyed pongal like I did.