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Essay on Pongal

Pongal is one of the greatest festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu to welcome the harvest season. It is celebrated for more than one day with great festivity and tradition. The festival is a way to thank sun who is considered as god in Hinduism and many other religions. The festival thanks Sun God for helping the people get good harvest and bring prosperity in their lives.

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Essay on Pongal Festival in English for Young Kids and Students

Pongal is very significant festival in South India and also a very common topic for essay in schools and colleges. The following essay on Pongal or Thai Pongal is in easy language and will help young children and students while writing and Pongal essay or any speech on Pongal as well as an article on Pongal. It will also help them understand the importance of Pongal, when is Pongal celebrated, how it is celebrated and what are the customs rituals and traditions of Pongal festival.

Essay on Pongal

Introduction

Pongal is one of the significant festivals of India celebrated in South India by the Tamil people. The festival is celebrated as a thanksgiving gesture to Sun God which helps in sustaining life on our planet and bringing happiness and prosperity in everyone's lives. It is also a  thanksgiving occasion to Mother Nature for great harvesting season. Pongal is celebrated from 14th January every year as this is the time when sun enters the Capricorn zodiac.

When is Pongal Celebrated

Pongal is celebrated on 14/15 January every year since this is the time of the year when the Winter solstice ends and the sun enter the Capricorn zodiac. This event of the sun entering Capricorn is celebrated throughout the Indian subcontinent with various different names like Makar Sankranti in North India, Lohri in Punjab, Magh Bihu in Assam etc.

How is Pongal Celebrated

The literal meaning of 'pongal' in Tamil is 'to boil' and during the festival the harvested rice of the season is mixed with jaggery, sugarcane juice and a sweet dish is prepared by boiling all the ingredients and the dish so prepared is used as an offering to the God. People also decorate their homes, cattle and visit their friends and family members and enjoy the festivity of the season.

Days of Pongal Festival

Pongal is celebrated for 4 days and each day has its own significance during the festival. Following are the days of the festival which starts with the first day as Bhogi Pongal.

Bhogi Pongal

The first day of Pongal is called as 'Bhogi Pongal'. This is the day when people start new things and discard the old belongings in the bonfire set during the night. People wear new clothes and enjoy the festivity of the season with their friends and family members. In villages, Cows, Oxens and other cattle are decorated and worshipped. The day is dedicated to Lord Indra who is considered as the 'God of Rains'. Prayers and offerings are made to Lord Indra for good rains ahead and high crop yield.

Surya Pongal

The second day of the festival is called as 'Surya Pongal'. Surya Pongal is the main day of the festival. It is also the first day of the Tamil calendar month called as 'Tai'. The day is celebrated by preparing the Pongal dish which is prepared in an earthen pot by putting fresh milk and bringing it to boil and then the fresh grains of the harvested rice along with sugarcane is put in it.

Once the dish starts overflowing, people welcome it by singing folk songs and wishing of great prosperity, health and fortune for the whole year. The dish is then offered to Gods, cattle and then served to family and friends. People also offer prayers to Sun God thanking him for good harvest and wishing for health and fortune for the whole year.

Mattu Pongal

The third day of the festival is the 'Mattu Pongal'. This is dedicated to cattle (Mattu in Tamil) who are an important source of providing food, fertilizers, dairy products, transportation etc to the people. This is the day to thank them for their support to the human beings. Cattles are cleaned and decorated with garlands, turmeric powder and offered fruits, special meals and worshipped on the day. Various communities sports and cattle races are also organized on this day.

Kannum Pongal

'Kannu Pongal' is the end of the festival when people visit their friends and family members to greet and strengthen the bond between them. Various social events are also organized on the day where people meet each other and share the bond of brotherhood, love and care.

History of Pongal Festival

The history of Pongal festival dates back to around 200 BCE. The festival was celebrated to welcome the harvest season in the Dravidian Era. The day was celebrated as a thanksgiving gesture to Sun God, cattle and Lord Indra. In the Dravidian Era, young girls also used to keep fast and pray for the family's health, wealth and prosperity and high yield of crops.

Conclusion

Pongal is the festival which thanks the Sun God for sustaining life on our planet. It also helps us to socialize with our family and friends. The day coincides with other festivals like Makar Sankranti, Maghi, Magh Bihu, Sankranti, Bhogali Bihu etc. celebrated in different parts of the country with same ideology of thanking the Sun God, the main source of life. The festival also thanks the Mother Nature for providing us all the essential items which are important for the survival of the human race. 

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