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Pongal Festival

Pongal 2023 in India

Pongal is a sacred Hindu festival of South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, and is celebrated during the harvest season. This colourful festival is a harvest festival where people worship the Sun God, thanking him for a bountiful harvest. Pongal festival follows the Hindu solar calendar, and in 2023 it falls from January 14th to 17th. The festival marks the sun's northward movement, called Uttarayan, and is celebrated for three to four days. The word "Pongal" in Tamil means "to boil." A sweet dish made from rice and lentils, also named "Pongal," is the signature delicacy prepared for this festival.

Here is a quick view of the various places in Tamil Nadu where Pongal 2023 will be celebrated. So get to know more about Pongal 2023 and be a part of this beautiful festival.

Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu

Pongal is the biggest festival for the agricultural community in the month of "Thai," hence the name "Thai Pongal." The month of Thai is believed to bring good luck, so people look forward to this festival. Several communities in Tamil Nadu consider this to be an auspicious time for weddings. The festival gives due importance to the primary crops grown in this region; rice, turmeric and sugarcane.

Here, the festival is celebrated for four days, with a different festivity each day.

  • Bhogi: The first day is celebrated as Bhogi as a tribute to Lord Indra. People thank Lord Indra for good rains and crops and seek blessings for a fruitful year ahead. At night, a bonfire is lit, and old things are discarded. People also dance around the fire and keep themselves warm during the chilly January night.
  • Surya Pongal: On the second day, called Surya Pongal, women in the house adorn their houses with kolam drew using rice powder. Later, rice is boiled with milk in earthenware outdoors. Then, sugarcane and banana leaves are used to decorate the area. Finally, the dish is offered to the Sun God, who, according to the celebrants, is responsible for a good harvest. The sweet and spicy versions of Pongal are the must-try highlights of the festival.
  • Mattu Pongal: The third day is called Mattu Pongal and is celebrated by adorning cows with bells and flowers. The cows are worshipped and later taken on a parade in the village. Some places also organize cattle races.
  • Kaanum Pongal: On the fourth day, known as Kaanum Pongal, women in the house place turmeric leaves outside the house. Different types of rice and Pongal are placed on the leaf along with betel nuts and other things. On this day, women of the house pray for the prosperity of brothers and other family members.

In 2023, Pongal falls between the 14th and 17th of January. The main festivities will happen on January 14th 2023. A day-wise detail of the Pongal 2023 is as follows:

  • Bhogi: January 14th, Tuesday
  • Surya Pongal: January 15th, Wednesday
  • Mattu Pongal: January 16th, Thursday
  • Kaanum Pongal: 17th January, Friday

Some of the events you can look forward to in Tamil Nadu during Pongal are:

  • Jallikattu: Madurai, a Tamil Nadu city, hosts a famous Jallikattu bullfight during the third and fourth days of the festival. Although there have been efforts to ban this practice, it remains a big crowd-puller. Jallikattu also takes place in various villages across the state of Tamil Nadu.
  • Mylapore Festival: Chennai hosts the very well-known extravaganza, The Mylapore Festival. This four-day event includes heritage walks, music, dance, folk art, exhibitions, and lip-smacking street food.
  • International Pongal Festival: Tuticorin, a coastal city in Tamil Nadu, holds the International Pongal Festival this season. The Pongal Festival here offers a unique blend of traditional arts and modern genres of art and music. This three-day festival is organized at the Bremajothi Farms, close to Tuticorin. The events include dance and martial art shows, instrument shows, rock concerts, and more. The International Pongal Festival will be held between the 13th and 15th of January, 2023.
  • Balloon Festival: Tamil Nadu International Balloon Festival takes place at Pollachi, near Coimbatore. Music concerts and several events for kids make this an entertaining one.
  • Dance Festival: Mamallapuram, near Chennai, hosts an open-air India Dance Festival for one month every year. The events against a background of rock sculptures in this beach town include several classical and folk-dance forms.

Each event offers a rich and authentic Indian adventure you would never want to miss. The festival can be Happy Pongal in its real sense if you participate in these events.

Pongal 2023 in other parts of India

Suggi in Karnataka

The festival is celebrated by sharing a special Sankranthi offering. In addition, people visit their friends and family and wish each other Happy Pongal. Another important ritual in Karnataka is the display of colourfully-decorated cows and bulls that are taken on a procession.

Makara Sankranthi in Gujarat

People of Gujarat celebrate Pongal as "Makara Sankranthi" or Uttarayan. Kite-flying contests are held across the state, and people engage in kite-flying games where people use their kite-flying skills to cut the opponent's kite string.

Lohri in Punjab

The harvest festival celebrated by people in Punjab is called "Lohri." During the night, people burn bonfires and perform rituals to worship the fire god.

Poush Parbon in Bengal

The festivities during Poush Porban include preparing several sweet dishes. Khejurer gur, jaggery made from dates, is the iconic item prepared during this time.

How to be a part of the Pongal festivities?

Knowing about Pongal would have made you want to be a part of Pongal and witness different rituals and celebrations across Tamil Nadu. If yes, then redBus is the right platform for you. redBus offers the most comprehensive number of bus travel options across thousands of routes in India and abroad. You can also book KeralaRTC and TNSTC buses on redBus to reach any of your desired locations during Pongal. Download the app or visit the official website to avail exclusive offers and discounts. So, don’t delay any further. Book your bus tickets today this Pongal season only with redBus.

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