is celebrated on the same day as Bihu, Lohri and Bhogi.
But Pongal stretches over four days. The word Pongal
literally means "boiling over" and celebrates the bounteous
crops in the fields. This festival is the biggest event
of the year for the Tamils as well as for the people
of Andhra Pradesh.
The first day, Bhogi-Pongal is devoted to Bhogi or Indran,
the rain god. The day is linked with the famous mythological
tale about Krishna lifting Gobardhan parbat on his little
finger. The day begins with a til oil bath and in the
evening there is a bonfire made of old cloths, files,
mats and rugs.
The second day, Surya-Pongal, is dedicated to the Sun
(Surya). On this day, pongal (rice cooked in milk and
jaggery) is bolied by women who offer it to the Sun.
Mattu-Pongal, the third day, is the day dedicated to
the worship and veneration of cattle (mattu). The horns
of the cattle is decorated with turmeric and kumkum,
small bells and flowers are hung around their neck and
they are paraded in the streets. The pongal that has
been offered to the local deities is given to the cattle
The last day is known as Kanyapongal. Coloured balls
of the pongal are made and are offered to birds. A kind
of bull-fight, called the 'Jallikattu' is held in Madhurai,
Tiruchirapalli and Tanjore in Tamil Nadu and several
places in Andhra Pradesh. Bundles containing money are
tied to the horns of ferocious bulls, and unarmed villagers
try to wrest the bundles from them. Bullock Cart race
and cock-fight are also held. In Andhra Pradesh, every
household displays its collection of dolls for three
days. Community meals are held at night with freshly