Puja Vidhi and Rituals of Pongal Festival

In 2019, the Pongal dates are from January 15th to January 18th. Out of the four days Thai Pongal carries major significance which would be on 16th January this year. In Tamil state, different regions commemorate distinct set of pongal rituals with immense gusto and utter dedication on the four days of this festival. Pongal puja vidhi varies from place to place and so does rituals. Pongal Rituals are way mesmerizing and unusually unique especially in the last days of the festivity. However some of the conventional rituals are common in every area of Tamil state and one of them is making traditional rangoli like designs- kolams in houses with rice powder with colourful patterns. Other significant compulsory ritual is preparing sumptuous rice for the hoedowns at homes.

The basic Pongal Timings of Sankranti event will start from 20:05 on 14th, January in 2019. Below mentioned are the Pongal Puja vidhi and rituals people follow to celebrate the four days festival of Pongal.

Pongal Puja vidhi and Rituals

Throughout the celebration people put Kumkum and turmeric dots. Beauteous decorated Rangoli are made at the entrance gates to welcome Goddess Laxmi for showering blessings on this favorable occasion. They discard their old clothes and even burn the garbage of the home. The puja house is decorated very nicely as it is believed that divine godheads arrive at homes and bring in good health, prosperity and harmony among the family members. People keep clay pots or stove for cooking the next time. Tie the manjal kothu around the pot. Draw three lines with wet viboodhi and keep a kumkum dot on the pot. Certain dishes like suzhiyan, adhirasam & obbattu are prepared. Beautiful and traditional rangolis are put all around the house. On the major days of Pongal people wake up at early morning 4 am because they are supposed to do the pooja during sunrise at around 6 am. They take head bath. The elders also look over brides and grooms to initiate matrimonial functions on these specific pious days. They usually prefer Pongal festivity to begin marriage events and other holy observances.

Pongal Puja vidhi

The first day marks the 'Bhogi Pongal'- It is meant for cleaning and decorating the house. The second day is known as 'Thai Pongal'- It is the day when new rice is harvested and it is prepared. This is   when the Sun God is worshiped. This day corresponds with Makar Sankranti, the winter harvest festival   celebrated throughout India, which marks the start of the sun’s six month journey north and warmer weather. People also gather in their homes to cook the Pongal dish. It's offered to the Sun God during prayers,   and later served for lunch. The third day is known as 'Maatu Pongal'- It is completely dedicated to the cattle that are represented by a cow. It is customary to clean and worship the cows on   this day. The final day (fourth day) is known as 'Kaanum Pongal'- It is meant for family gatherings. On this day birds are worshiped. Balls of cooked rice are prepared and left out for birds to eat. People also thank family and friends for their support during the harvest. Devotees offer all the dishes in 9 leaves. But in general, they spread 5 leaves for the Sun God. In those 5 leaves they keep sweet pongal, vella pongal, pongal  sambar, kootu in little quantities. Just in the middle of the rangoli- kolam, a huge and mammoth figurine of the Lord Surya (Sun God) with the glittered beams are also chiseled. Light two lamps in front of the banana leaves. Spread a banana leaf and keep all the seasonal vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, yam, arbi, Panag kizhangu. Keep sugar cane pieces, banana, betel leaves & nuts. Break a coconut and keep it. Now do the puja and mangala harathi. Finish the puja. After the puja, a glass of milk sweetened with jiggery is distributed which is known as “siruveetu paal”.

Pongal Puja vidhi

Pongal is all about rice!

The most important part of the Pongal festival is cooking the Pongal dish which is a sweet version of pongal called Sakkarai pongal and it is made with rice mixed with moong dal and cooked with ghee, cashew nuts, and raisins adding jiggery. A spicy pongal called Ven pongal/Ghee pongal are also prepared adding lots of ghee and spices like pepper & cumin. Traditionally, pongal is cooked in clay pots, on stoves made with stones and wood used as fuel. When it starts to boil over, everyone shouts out "pongalo pongal". Without this Pongal is never celebrated.

Wishing you all a very contented and blissful Pongal. May gods and goddesses bless you with all the happiness, wealth and good health this year. To know more about Types of Pongal, Lohri and Makar Sankranti, please visit rgyan.com 

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