Pongal is a multi-day festival, that includes Makar Sankranthi and Kanuma celebrated by the people. The festival is dedicated to the Sun God, marks the beginning of Uttarayan, the time at which Sun enters into Makara Rashi. Pongal falls on January 14-16 this year, and the first day, i.e., the 14th of January is celebrated as Thai Pongal.
About Pongal : History, Importance and Significance :
Pongal is a sweet dish made with rice boiled in milk with jaggery. However, it is first offered to the God and Godesses and then taken by the family.
The history of the festival defines, Lord Shiva once sent his bull, Basava, to the world to remind people that they should eat once a month, get an oil massage, and bathe everyday. Basava made the mistake of recommending that everyone take an oil bath once a day and eat everyday. Then Lord Shiva became soo upset that he banished Basava to Earth for all eternity in order to help the inhabitants of Earth produce more food. This is the reason behind cattle’s presence on Earth.
The importance of the festival tells us the celebration is all about thankfulness to the natural elements that help us exist, therefore farmers honour the rain, sun and animals, which are necessary for farming.
Pongal conveys the belief that makes us let go of past and welcoming new beginnings. There is also another belief that there will be positive results in crops, prosperity and well being of people by receiving the Sun’s blessings.