Pongal Festival

Pongal 2020 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. This festival follows the Hindu solar calendar and falls on January 14th or 15th of every year. The festival marks the northward movement of the sun, 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 2020 would be celebrated. Get to know more about Pongal 2020 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, and therefore 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, a different festivity on 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, into which 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 drawn using rice powder. Later, rice is boiled with milk in earthenware in the outdoors. Sugarcane and banana leaves are used to decorate the area. 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 leaf just outside the house. Different types of rice and Pongal are placed on the leaf along with betel nuts and other things. This day, women of the house pray for the prosperity of brothers and other family members. 

In the year 2020, Pongal falls between the 13th and 14th of January. The main festivities will happen on 15th January 2020. A day-wise detail of the Pongal 2020 is as follows:


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


Some of the events you can look forward to in Tamil Nadu during Pongal 2020 are:


  • Jallikattu: Madurai, a city in Tamil Nadu, hosts a very 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: Between January 9th and 12th, 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 during 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 11th and 13th January 2020.
  • Balloon Festival: Tamil Nadu International Balloon Festival happens between the 11th and 15th of January 2020 at Pollachi, a place 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 (between 25th December and 25th January). The event that happens against a background of rock sculptures in this beach town include several classical and folk-dance forms.


Every one of these events offer a rich and authentic Indian adventure you would never want to miss. The festival can be Happy Pongal in its real sense if you are taking part in these events. 


Pongal 2020 in other parts of India


Suggi in Karnataka

The festival is celebrated by sharing a special Sankranthi offering. 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 2020 festivities?

Getting to know about Pongal would have made you want to be a part of Pongal 2020 and witness different rituals and celebrations across Tamil Nadu. If yes, then redBus is the right platform for you. redBus offers the widest number of bus travel options across thousands of routes in India and abroad. 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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