All About Pongal Festival 2024: Date, History, and Significance

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pongal festival

The Pongal festival is one of the most popular regional festivals in India. It is mainly celebrated by the Tamil community of India. On this day, people of the region offer prayers and traditional delicacies to pay their respects to the Sun god and Mother Nature for blessing them with the bounty of harvest. Interestingly, the celebrations of Pongal go on for four consecutive days and mark the beginning of the Tamil month called Thai. 

Festival Pongal 
Observed on January 15 –  January 18
Reason To offer respects and thank the Sun God and Mother Earth for a prosperous harvest every year. 

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About the History of the Pongal Festival in English

The history of Pongal is as fascinating as the festival itself. According to some historians, the origins of the festival go back to the Sangam Age, a period that is generally marked by the flourishing of Tamil literature. Back then, it was known as Thair Niradal. Some historians claim that the festival is at least 2,000 years old. 

What is even more interesting is the myths associated with the festival. According to one of these popular legends, unmarried girls during this season pray for the agricultural prosperity of their family and the community. Therefore, they observe penance during the Tamil month of Margazhi and abstain from the consumption of milk. 

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Why is Pongal Celebrated? 

The celebration of the Pongal festival coincides with the Makar Sankranti. It marks the entry of the Sun into the Capricorn zodiac, also known as Makar. This northward journey of the Sun also signifies the end of winter, bringing a ray of hope into everyone’s lives.

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva once asked Basava or the Bull to visit the Earth and ask humans to have a massage with oil and take an oil bath every day. However, Basava got confused and misinterpreted Lord Shiva’s message. He told humans to eat daily and oil bath once a month. Lord Shiva got upset and cursed Basava to live on Earth forever and plough the fields to produce more food. 

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What are the 4 Days of Pongal in 2024? 

The four-day-celebration of Pongol in 2024 looks something like this:

Date Day Occasion 
January 15Monday Bhogi Pongal
January 16Tuesday Surya Pongal
January 17Wednesday Mattu Pongal
January 18Thursday Kaanum Pongal

Day 1: Bhogi Pongal

  • The first day of the Pongal festival is called Bhogi.
  • On this day, people clean their homes and discard old belongings. 
  • They also decorate their houses with traditional things and wear new clothes.
  • Bhogi Pongal demonstrates a fresh start to life. 

Day 2: Surya Pongal

  • On the second day of Pongal, people honor the Sun God.
  • They draw colourful and vibrant patterns called kolam at the entrance of their homes. 
  • They cook a fresh pot of rice according to the Pongal muharat.
  • Once the milk boils over the pot, everyone around shouts Pongalo Pongal!
  • Next, the Pongal or rice is offered to Sun God and then consumed by other members of the family. 
Source: The Weather Channel

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Day 3: Maatu Pongal

  • On the third day of Pongal, people worship their cattle which are known as Maatu in the regional language.
  • Cows are bathed in the morning and adorned with multi-coloured beads, fresh flowers, and bells. 
  • This day highlights the hard work our cattle do every day in the fields by ploughing the land and getting it ready for the harvest.

Day 4: Kaanum Pongal

  • The fourth day of Pongal highlights the strength of the community. 
  • Traditional Pongal food is prepared and all the members eat together. 
  • Younger members seek blessings from their elders.
  • People also perform traditional Indian folk dances such as kolattam and mayulattam. 

Pongal Festival 2024 Muharat

Now that we have discussed the 4 days of the Pongal festival in 2024, let us now take a look at its muharat for this year. The Sankranti muharat on the first day of Pongal will be from 2:40 AM. Similarly, the sunrise time of the first day which is January 15 is 7:14 AM and the sunset time of the same is 5:57 PM.

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What is the Importance of the Pongal Festival?  

Pongal festival celebration holds great significance for the people of Tamil Nadu. 

  • It is a joyous festival celebration that offers people a chance to thank the Sun god Surya and Mother Earth for sustaining life.
  • During this four-day celebration, people also honor their cattle who along with Mother Nature and the deity produce such lavish cultivation every year. 
  • Pongal is a vibrant festival that highlights the essential elements of Tamil culture such as kolams (floor patterns, Mundus (dhotis), Karagattam (a folk dance), etc.
  • The festival also brings people and the community together to share meals, seek blessings, express gratitude, and live in harmony and peace.  
  • Since the festival also marks the beginning of the Tamil month Thai, it signifies fresh harvests, new beginnings, and renewed hope.

5 Pongal Wishes for Family and Friends 

Here are 5 Pongal wishes that you can share with your friends and family.

1. May the sun radiate an abundance of peace, prosperity, and happiness in your life. 

2. May the festival of harvest fill your life with divine blessings, sweetness, and the best time of your life. 

3. Let the warmth of Pongal and the blessings of the deity fill your home with propensity and positive vibes all year round. 

4. On this auspicious festival, may god bless you and your family with bountiful blessings, peace, good health, and happiness. 

5. May good luck enter your life and fill it with an abundance of success to make success touch your feet. Happy Pongal my dear family. 

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What is Pongal celebrated for?

Pongal is a popular harvest festival celebrated by the Tamil community. On this festival, people thank the Sun god, Mother Nature, and the animals of the region for playing a vital role in producing a bountiful harvest.

Which state celebrates the festival of Pongal?

The festival of Pongal is among the most popular and important festivals celebrated in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. 

Which religion celebrates Pongal?

Pongal is a popular Hindu festival that is widely celebrated with great enthusiasm in South India. This four-day festival takes place according to the position of the Sun which reaches its southernmost point, turns north again, and then reenters the sign of Makara or Capricorn. 

This was all about the Pongal festival. Do let us know how you celebrate the festival of Pongal in the comment section below. For more such articles, make sure to check the trending events page of Leverage Edu.

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