Indian version of “Thanksgiving” is the famous festival called “Pongal“. Its a harvest festival and it falls in the month of January. This occasion signals the end of the traditional farming season, giving farmers a break from their monotonous routine and symbolizes the veneration of the first fruit. Last year I did a similar post which provides details of the rituals of the festival. For today, I will just straightaway jump into the recipes (the best part isnt it?)
This festival is celebrated for 4 days each representing an essence.
Day 1 : Boghi ( Jan 13th)
On this day its all about Bonfires – where all old materials and clothes are thrown and burnt. It is believed to mark the beginning of a fresh life – In short a new beginning.
The following recipes are prepared on this day ((See all recipes))
1. Poli (Ubbattu)
2. Ven Pongal (also known as Khara Pongal, Spicy Pongal )
3. Pakoda (mostly plain for offering to god)
4. Eggplant Gotsu
5. Pal Payasam (Kheer)
Day 2 : Sankranthi (Jan 14th)
This is the main festival day – called as Pongal Day. This day is celebrated by boiling fresh milk early in the morning and allow it to boil over – overflow – the act of which is the literal translation for the word ‘Pongal’.
The following recipes are prepared on this day (See all recipes)
Day 3 : Mattu Pongal (Jan 15th)
“Mattu” means Cows/Buffalo. They play a significant role in a farmer’s life since they are the ones which draw the plough (as its still done mostly in India – tractors don’t abound). This day is for thanking them for helping the farmers to plough the lands. On this day the cattle are decorated with paint, flowers and bells. In Madurai “Jallikattu” is celebrated which is an event for taming the wild bull.
Variety of rices are prepared on this day. Recipes are as follows: (See all recipes)
Day 4 : Kaanum Pongal (Jan 16th – also known as Karinaal or Thiruvalluvar Day)
The word “Kaanum” means to view and true to its meaning its for people to visit relatives and friends on this day for exchanging pleasantries and greetings. In short its a picnic day! This oneness is by way of thanking family and friends for their support throughout. Sugarcane’s abound and its a common sight to watch ppl chewing and enjoying it. It also is similar to Raksha Bandhan in the sense that woman offer prayers by way offering multi colored rice in their courtyard/terrace and calling out to crows with a “ka Ka ” chant to come and eat it while praying for the well being of their brothers.
Wishing you all my dear Readers (esp. South Indian Hindus) a Happy and immensely Prosperous Pongal in Advance.