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 Why do we celebrate pongal?

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Ashwiny
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PostSubject: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:05 pm

First wanna wish you and your familly a happy thai pongal!

and now i wanna no why tamil people celebrate ponkal?
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:19 pm

Pongal in Tamil means boiling over or spill over.The act of boiling over of milk in the clay pot is considered to denote future prosperity for the family. Traditionally celebrated at harvest time, it is a celebration of the prosperity associated with the harvest by thanking the rain, sun and the farm animals that have helped in the harvest.
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PostSubject: Pongal Festival   Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:28 pm

What is Ponggal?

Pongal is the only festival of Hindu that follows a solar calendar and is celebrated on the fourteenth of January every year. Pongal has astronomical significance: it marks the beginning of Uttarayana, the Sun's movement northward for a six month period. In Hinduism, Uttarayana is considered auspicious, as opposed to Dakshinaayana, or the southern movement of the sun. All important events are scheduled during this period. Makara Sankranthi refers to the event of the Sun entering the zodiac sign of Makara or Capricorn.

In Hindu temples bells, drums, clarinets and conch shells herald the joyous occasion of Pongal. To symbolize a bountiful harvest, rice is cooked in new pots until they boil over. Some of the rituals performed in the temple include the preparation of rice, the chanting of prayers and the offering of vegetables, sugar cane and spices to the gods. Devotees then consume the offerings to exonerate themselves of past sins.

Pongal signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine. Farmers also perform puja to some crops, signaling the end of the traditional farming season. It also sets the pace for a series of festivals to follow in a calendar year. In fact, four festivals are celebrated in Tamil Nadu for four consecutive days in that week. 'Bogi' is celebrated on January 13, 'Pongal' on Jan 14, 'Maattuppongal' on Jan 15, and 'Thiruvalluvar Day' on Jan 16.

The festival is celebrated for four days. On, the first day, Bhogi, the old clothes and materials are thrown away and fired, marking the beginning of a new life. The second day, the Pongal day, is celebrated by boiling fresh milk early in the morning and allowing it to boil over the vessel - a tradition that is the literal translation for Pongal. People also prepare savories and sweets, visit each other's homes, and exchange greetings. The third day, Mattu Pongal, is meant to offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, as they are used to plough the lands. On the last day, Kanum Pongal, people go out to picnic.

A festival called Jalli kathu is held in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjavur,all in Tamil Nadu, on this day. Bundles of money are tied to the horns of Pongal ferocious bulls which the villagers try to retrieve. Everyone joins in the community meal, at which the food is made of the freshly harvested grain. This day is named and celebrated as Tamilian Tirunal in a fitting manner through out Tamil Nadu.

Thus, the harvest festival of Pongal symbolizes the veneration of the first fruit. The crop is harvested only after a certain time of the year, and cutting the crop before that time is strictly prohibited. Even though Pongal was originally a festival for the farming community, today it is celebrated by all. In south India, all three days of Pongal are considered important. However, those south Indians who have settled in the north usually celebrate only the second day. Coinciding with Makara Sankranti and Lohri of the north, it is also called Pongal Sankranti.


When is Pongal?
Celebrate Pongal on January 14, 2008, Monday

Pongal is celebrated in the month of January after the winter solstice. The date of Pongal usually remains same as it is reckoned according to the solar calendar that is more accurate than the lunar calendar. For Hindus the date of Pongal is extremely auspicious as it marks the sun's entry into Makaram Rashi or the Tropic of Capricorn from the Tropic of Cancer. On this day sun begins its journey northwards (Uttarayan) for a period of six months as opposed to southwards (Dakshinayan) movement. It is this fascinating and auspicious astronomical event that is celebrated as Pongal in South India and Makar Sankranti in North and Central India.

Pongal festival is celebrated for four continuous days beginning from the last day of Tamil month of Maargazhi (December-January) and lasting upto the third day of Thai. The second and the main day of Pongal called Surya Pongal marks the beginning of Tamil month of Thai that corresponds to the month of January - February according to the Gregorian calendar.

Pongal brings respite to the people as it marks the end of cold winter and the advent of spring. From this time onwards the length of the day increases and that of the night shortens in the Northern Hemisphere.

Following are the date on which the four days of Pongal will be celebrated in 2008:

* Bhogi Festival: 13th January.

* Surya Pongal: 14th January

* Maatu Pongal: 15th January

* Kaanum Pongal: 16th January


History Of Pongal..

Pongal is an ancient festival of people in South
India particularly Tamils. The history of the festival can be traced
back to the Sangam Age i.e. 200 B.C. To 300 A.D. Although, Pongal
originated as a Dravidian Harvest festival and has a mention in Sanskrit
Puranas, historians identify the festival with the Thai Un and
Thai Niradal which are believed to have been celebrated during
the Sangam Age.

Observance of Pongal During the Sangam Era (Thai Niradal)
The celebrations of Sangam Era led to today's Pongal celebrations. As
part of the festivities, maidens of the Sangam era observed 'Pavai
Nonbu'
at the time of Thai Niradal which was a major
festival during the reign of the Pallavas (4th to 8th Century AD). It
was observed during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December-January).
During this festival young girls prayed for rain and prosperity of the
country. Throughout the month, they avoided milk and milk products. They
would not oil their hair and refrained from using harsh words while
speaking. Women used to bath early in the morning. They worshiped the
idol of Goddess Katyayani, which would be carved out of wet sand. They
ended their penance on the first day of the month of Thai
(January-February). This penance was to bring abundant rains to flourish
the paddy. These traditions and customs of ancient times gave rise to
Pongal celebrations.

Andal's Tiruppavai and Manickavachakar's Tiruvembavai vividly describe
the festival of Thai Niradal and the ritual of observing Pavai Nonbu.
According to an inscription found in the Veeraraghava temple at
Tiruvallur, the Chola King Kiluttunga used to gift lands to the temple
specially for the Pongal celebrations.

Legends of Pongal
Some legendary stories are also associated with Pongal festival
celebrations. The two most popular legends of Pongal are stories related
to Lord Shiva and Lord Indra.

According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the
earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and
to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone
should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This mistake enraged
Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth
forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more
food. Thus the association of this day with cattle.

Another legend of Lord Indra and Lord Krishna also led to Pongal
celebrations. It is said when Lord Krishna were in his childhood, he
decided to teach a lesson to Lord Indra who became arrogant after
becoming the king of all deities. Lord Krishna asked all the cowherds to
stop worshiping Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and sent forth his
clouds for thunder-storms and 3 days continuous rains. Lord Krishna
lifted Mount Govardhan to save all the humans. Later, Lord Indra
realized his mistake and divine power of Krishna.

Pongal Celebrations
According to Hindu mythology, this is when the day of the gods begins,
after a six-month long night. The festival is spread over three days and
is the most important and most fervently-celebrated harvest festival of
South India. A special puja is performed on the first day of Pongal
before the cutting of the paddy. Farmers worship the sun and the earth
by anointing their ploughs and sickles with sandal wood paste. It is
with these consecrated tools that the newly-harvested rice is cut.

Each of the three days are marked by different festivities. The first
day, Bhogi Pongal, is a day for the family. Surya Pongal, the second
day, is dedicated to the worship of Surya, the Sun God. Boiled milk and
jaggery is offered to the Sun God. The third day of Pongal, Mattu
Pongal, is for worship of the cattle known as Mattu. Cattle are bathed,
their horns polished and painted in bright colors, and garlands of
flowers placed around their necks. The Pongal that has been offered to
the Gods is then given to cattle and birds to eat.


Legends Of Pongal

All the festivals have some interesting legends
associated with it. Pongal, the much awaited festival of South India
particularly Tamil Nadu also has interesting legends associated with it.
The most popular legends attached to Pongal celebration are discussed
below:

Legend of Mount Govardhan
The first day of the festival Bhogi Pongal has an association
with legend of Lord Indra (the God of clouds and rains) and Lord
Krishna. Earlier, people used to worship Lord Indra who was the King of
the deities. This honor given to Lord Indra made him full of pride and
arrogance. He thought himself to be the most powerful of all the beings.
When child Krishna came to know about this he thought of a plan to teach
him a lesson. He persuaded his cowherd friends to worship Mt. Govardhan
rather than Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and he sent forth the
clouds to generate non-stop thunder, lightning, heavy rains and flood
the land. As per the tale, Lord Krishna lifted the huge Govardhan Parvat
on his little finger to protect the cowherds and the cattle. He kept
standing with the lifted mount to save all the humans from the ravaging
storm of Lord Indra. The rains continued for three days and at last
Indra realized his mistake and divine power of Lord Krishna. He promised
humility and begged Krishna's forgiveness. Since then, Krishna allowed
to let the Bhogi celebrations continue in honor of Indra. Thus, the day
gave the origin to the Pongal celebration. The festival got another name
of Indran from this legendary story.

Legend of Lord Shiva
Another legend associated with the festival relates to Lord Shiva. The
third day of Pongal known as Mattu Pongal involves Lord Shiva
and his mount, Nandi (Basava), the bull. According to the legend, Lord
Shiva once asked his bull to go to the Earth and deliver his message to
the people to have an oil massage and bath daily and to eat food once a
moth. Mistakenly, Basava announced to have an oil massage and bath once
a month and to eat food daily. Enraged Shiva cursed Basava and said that
due to this mistake there would be lack of grains on the Earth. He
banished the bull to live on earth forever and help people plough the
fields. Thus, Mattu Pongal has an association with the cattle. It is
also called Kanu Pongal. The celebrations of the festival are similar to
the festivals of Raksha Bandhan and Bhai Dooj of North India.


Meaning & significance

People celebrating Pongal should be aware of the
meaning & significance of the important rituals associated with this
harvest festival. Pongal or Thai Pongal is also called Makara
Sankaranthi, since it is celebrated on the first day of Thai when the
Sun enters the Makara Rasi (Capricornus). This signals the end of winter
and the onset of spring throughout the northern hemisphere. For the next
six months, the days are longer and warmer.

The period is referred to as Uttarayan Punyakalam and is considered
auspicious. Legend has it that the Devas wake up after a six-month long
slumber during this period. And so it is believed that those pass away
during Uttarayana attain salvation. In fact, Bheeshma is believed to
have waited for the dawn of Uttarayana before he gave up his life.

Pongal is a four-day affair. The first day, Bhogi, is celebrated on the
last day of the month of Margazhi. On this day, people decorate their
homes. New vessels are bought and old and unwanted things burnt.
Scholars have often compared Bhogi to the Indra Vizha celebrated by the
Chola kings at Kaveripattinam, also known as Poompuhar. Indra Vizha was
celebrated in honour of Lord Indra, also called Bhogi, the God of
thunder and rain.

The second day is Perum Pongal, the most important. It is also called
Surya Pongal because people worship Surya, the Sun God and his consorts,
Chaya and Samgnya. Women decorate the central courtyard of their homes
with beautiful kolams, done with rice flour and bordered with red clay.
The Pongal dish is cooked exactly at the moment when the new month is
born.

There are several legends associated with Perum Pongal. A sage named
Hema prayed to Lord Vishnu on the banks of the Pottramarai tank in
Kumbakonam. On Perum Pongal day, the lord is believed to have taken the
form of Sarangapani and blessed the sage. Yet another legend has it that
Lord Shiva performed a miracle where a stone image of an elephant ate a
piece of sugarcane.

The third day is Mattu Pongal, celebrated to glorify cattle that help
farmers in a myriad ways. On this day, the cows are bathed and decorated
with vermilion and garlands and fed. In certain villages in southern
Tamil Nadu, a bullfight called manji-virattu is held in the evening.
Bags of coins are tied to the sharpened horns of ferocious bulls that
are let loose in an open ground. The young men of the village vie with
each other to subdue the bull and grab the bags tied to the horns.

In fact, in ancient Tamil literature, men had to subdue the bull in
order to win the hand of a fair maiden and even Lord Krishna is believed
to have defeated seven bulls before marrying Nappinnai. Unlike in the
Spanish bullfights, in manji-virattu, the bull is never killed. Mattu
Pongal has little significance to city folks. In most urban homes, the
day is celebrated as Kannu Pongal. Special prayers are offered by women
for the well-being of their brothers.

The Tamils also remember the poet Tiruvalluvar, who was born on this.
The last day is Kaanum Pongal. It is that part of the festival when
families used to gather on the riverbanks and have a sumptuous meal
(kootanchoru). It is also time for some traditional dances such as kummi
and kolattam. In recent years, that day is celebrated as Uzhavar Tirunal
in honor of farmers.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:44 pm

தமிழரின் கலாசாரத்தில் முக்கிய அம்சங்களில் ஒன்று நன்றி கூறல். அதன் அங்கமே இந்தத் தைத் திருநாள்... இத்திருநாள் தமிழர்களாகிய எமக்கு எந்நாளும் நன்றி கூறலை ஞாபகமூட்டி நிற்கிறது.
எனவே இரவிக்கு மட்டுமன்றி, இந்த தமிழ் பற்றி... குழுவுக்கு வளஞ்சேர்க்கும் அனைவருக்கும் நன்றிகள்...
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Mon Jan 14, 2008 4:53 pm

wow moga bro thx for ur infor but is to long to read bro

but is still gud
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:25 pm

@alexmohan short and simple a soninka! thks buddy

@moga yapa enapa idu... idu vambuku post panina madiri iruku, partona faint panna parten. but i guess all info r der, dat s da essential, so thks moga thambi

@ N.doctor aha apo pongal = thanksgiving a???
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:03 am

@moga- ungada explanation read pana muthal next Pongal vanthirum pola irukku!! lol! but a gudone!

HAPPY PONGAL FOR EVERYONE.
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Tue Jan 15, 2008 1:12 am

Alexmo buddy athu eppodi akkun nan unaku thambi endal ennoda thambi unakum thambi thana appuran enna buddy
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:48 am

THaipongal vaalthukkal to everyone:)

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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:48 pm

Baskar2006 wrote:
Alexmo buddy athu eppodi akkun nan unaku thambi endal ennoda thambi unakum thambi thana appuran enna buddy

lol! in fact i dunno him da... u didn t introduce him to me, so epdi thambi endura???


@panithuli anna happy pongal to you too
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PostSubject: Re: Why do we celebrate pongal?   Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:45 am

ello
happy pongal for everyone
so u no me now dem yhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
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