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Facts Associated with Pongal Celebration in India!

Pongal is a festival of India which marks the beginning of the six month's journey of Sun in Northward direction called as Uttarayan and is observed every year on 14th of January. This time is considered as an auspicious time of the year when Sun starts moving towards Makar Rashi.

How People Celebrate Pongal?

This major festival of India is celebrated in a time span of four days. The first days of the festival is called as Bhogi which marks the beginning of a new cycle and during this day people throw their old household's items and bring in home, new items in their households. The second day called as Perum also referred to as Surya Pongal is the most significant days of the Pongal celebration and on this people pay respect to God Sun by offering prayers. On the zest of this day people also wear novel clothes and women of the household embellish their home by making Kolam designs with the help of red clay and rice flour. On the third day of the festival, Mattu Pongal, people worship cattle as they are believe to bring good harvest. Finally on the last day, the fourth day of the celebration which is called as Kanum Pongal, people go for picnic and try spending time with family and friends. During Pongal celebration people also get themselves involved in buffalo-taming contests, dancing and exchanging gifts.

Pongal is known with many other names all across India and people follow different customs and rituals in different parts of the country. Some of the popular names of the festivals are:

• Lohri
• Makar Sankranti
• Poki
• Hadaga
• Bihu

Besides that, people also associate different symbols with Pongal most of which are associated with Sun and agriculture. For instance, the symbol chariot is believed to be the vehicle of God Sun who uses this chariot to revolve around the earth. Some of the symbols of Pongal include:

• The Chariot
• The Sickle
• Kolam
• Wheat Grain
• The Sun

Pongal Holiday

Though Pongal is not a gazetted holiday in India but it is considered as a religious holiday particularly in Central and South Indian offices. Nevertheless, throughout the four days of the Pongal celebration schools and colleges remain closed.

Facts About Pongal

There have been various stories about Pongal celebration and many popular legends have been associated with it. The legend of Shiva and Nandi, his bull and the Govardhan Mountain are some most popular legends connected with the festival. It is believed that Lord Krishna on Bhogi lifted the mountain on his little finger in order to save people from the angry God of rain, Indra and that day became the first day of the Pongal. Another story related to Pongal is; when Lord Shiva sent his bull Nandi to inform people to eat once in a month and take oil bath every day, Nandi erroneously told people to eat daily and take bath of oil once in a month. Consequently, Lord Shiva got angry and sent Nandi on earth to help the human masses in harvesting for producing more food. And since then Pongal became the festival of harvest.

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