The celebration of the harvest season in southern states of India, Pongal in Pondicherry is a festive extravaganza. Pongal is one of the major festivals of South India and Pondicherry is no exception to it. Pondicherry is a land of diversity, with many culture and religion co-existing together. A testament to the motto of unity in diversity, Pongal in Pondicherry is celebrated with grandeur and great pomp. Marking the start of the first day of Thai month in Tamil Solar calendar, there are various customs and traditions that follow the Pondicherry celebration. People deck up their homes with mango leaves and offer prayers to Sun god. The first day of the Pongal festival is known as Bogi Pandigai. This day people clean their homes and light a bonfire to get rid of unused items. The second day of the Pongal festival in Pondicherry is known as Thai Pongal. One of the most important days of the 4 days festival, this day also marks the Sankranti celebration in North India. Thai Pongal is the first day of the Tamil solar calendar. Thai Pongal celebration is followed by boiling harvested rice with fresh milk, mixed with jaggery in a new clay pot. While boiling, people let some milk spill over as an auspicious sign of prosperity. The cooked Pongal is then offered to Sun God as a sign of gratitude for the good harvest and then the dish is served on a banana leaf to people present in the home.
The third day of the festive celebration is known as Mattu Pongal and people decorate and paint their cows on this day. The last day of the festival is known as Kaanum Pongal which is a day of family reunion in Pondicherry.
Marking the start of the harvest season, Pongal in Pondicherry is a cause of celebration and the entire city feels like a festive carnival. Visit Pondicherry during Pongal will give you a cultural insight into the city.
The 4-day festive celebration of Pongal takes place in month of January every year.
Special Highlights/Rituals of the Festival
- The first day of the festival is dedicated to cleaning the homes and lighting a bonfire to get rid of unused items.
- Thai Pongal is dedicated to worshipping Sun God and offering the fresh harvest to him as a sign of gratitude for the healthy harvest.
- The third day is about painting and decorating cows.
- The last day of the four-day Pongal celebration in Pondicherry is made special by family reunions throughout the state and the city.