A four-day long harvest festival celebrated mainly in Tamil Nadu, Pongal gets its name from the Tamil word meaning “to boil”. Marking the beginning of the sun’s northward shift called Uttaraayan, it falls on January 14 this year. As the sun rises, the day is greeted with ringing bells, rhythmic beats of drums and the echoing sounds of conch shells. Rice is boiled in pots to signify an ample harvest for the season and is offered to the Sun God. Known as Surya Maangalyam, it is devoted to acknowledge the heat and energy for cultivation that blesses them.
Embracing each other by saying, “thai pirandhaal vazhi pirakkum”, people celebrate by giving a thanksgiving to nature. Farmers also perform puja and crops such as cereals, sugarcane and turmeric are harvested. Tamils refer to Pongal as ‘Tamizhar Thirunaal’. Pongal is also the name of a sweet dish containing rice and milk cooked in a utensil in sunlight. Sprinkled with cardamom, jaggery, raisins and cashew nuts, the flavoured dish is served on banana leaves.
The four-day affair is marked by festivities. On the first day known as ‘Bhogi’, people celebrate new possessions and discard the old. The second day is marked as ‘Thai Pongal’ when Tamilians boil rice, decorate their house with banana leaves and kolam/rangolis (decorative patterns on the floor). On the third day, ‘Maatu Pongal’, new cattle is bought and worshipped. ‘Kaanu Pongal’ is the fourth day of the festival and people visit each other, go for picnics, distribute sweets and exchange greetings on this day.
Here are a few messages, images and greetings that you can send to your family and friends on Pongal:
*Warm thoughts reach out, to all those who are held dear, as the auspicious festival that marks the beginning of the harvest season, draws near. As the festival of Pongal is here, hoping it ushers in good days, that are filled with happiness and cheer, and the fervor it symbolizes, stays with you throughout the year. With best wishes.
*Gul ne gulshan se gulfam bheja hai, sitaro ne gagan se salam bheja hai,
Mubarak ho aapko ye PONGAL, Humne tahe dil se yeh paigam bheja hai.
*Happy Pongal to all!
We thank the sun for burning himself to save us.
We thank plants sacrificing their life for us.
And we thank all the creatures helping us to live in this world for some time.
*May your life be long and your stocks be short,
May your cars be hybrid and your heart be pure,
May the God create a bail-out package for your sins in the past,
May you make more per-year than Joe-the-plumber,
May you find a fountain of youth in your backyard…
Wish you a very Happy Pongal and
A Tamil New Year full of joy!
*As you shout Pongalo Pongal
To welcome the prosperity and wealth
along with the overflowing Milk
I wish you everlasting happiness and joy
*May the love and affection
Overflow from your heart
Like Pongal milk from the pot
*May the SUN god shower his WARMTH
on this happy day of PONGAL
May the SUGARCANE offer its SWEETNESS
on this joyous day of PONGAL.
*Dear Murugan Naa,
Wish you a very Happy Pongal
Pot rice to Sun God
Sugarcane to Cow and Ox
Sweet rice to You and Me
Good milk to Friends and Family