Thamizhar Thirunal – The Harvest Festival of Tamil Nadu

One of the important festivals celebrated by the Agrarian communities all over India is Makara Sankranthi. The harvest festival follows a Solar calendar, and it is essentially a thanksgiving celebration to Surya, the Sun God.

The biggest event for the year in Tamil Nadu is Pongal, and the festival is celebrated for four days at a stretch, starting from January 14th every year. The first day of the Tamil month “Thai” starts off with this harvest festival, where the harvested rice is ceremoniously cooked.

Bhogi Pongal, the first day of Pongal celebrations is more of a family festival. In villages, people clean their homes, discard unwanted items, make a Bhogi bonfire to clear the stale energy.

Surya Pongal, the second day is dedicated to Surya, the Sun God, when the Sweet Pongal (rice cooked in milk with jaggery) is offered to the Sun by the household.

The main event during the day is to cook and offer the Pongal to the Sun during an auspicious time, when the Tamil month “Thai” sets in. The entire household looks colourful and women draw intricate kolams to ring in the festivities.

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Two essential items for celebrating Pongal are sugarcane and turmeric. Sugarcane is symbolic of adding a sweet flavour to our lives. In some of the villages down south, a sweet pongal is prepared just with the juice of sugarcane. The tender turmeric with their leaves are tied to the Pongal panais while cooking. When the pot boils over with milk and rice, people usher in Pongal by calling out “Pongalo Pongal“. A portion of the season’s first food is offered to Mother Earth as a gesture of gratitude. The day is complete with wearing new clothes, families visiting each other, exchanging gifts and enjoying feasts.

Mattu Pongal, the third day is dedicated to the worship and veneration of the cattle, mostly in the villages. The bulls and cows are adorned with cowrie shells, colourful paints, ropes and bells, and are fed with sweet pongal and sugarcane.

The fourth day called as Kaanum Pongal is a day for picnic and lunch outings with family. It is also celebrated as Thiruvalluvar Day.

One of the important rituals practised on the day of Pongal is to decorate the entrance of the houses with colourful kolams. In Southern India, kolams are drawn on the entrances of houses not just for aesthetic appeal, but more importantly because of the belief that it invites prosperity and sanctity to the homes.

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A special kolam called as Sankaranti Kolam is drawn while offering the Pongal to the Sun god. He is depicted as riding a chariot, transitioning into the Zodiacal sign of Capricorn (Makaram), and thus beginning his northward course, called Uttarayana. This special Ratha Kolam transforms the ordinary space into a ritual and sacred space!

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Our Pongal Collection 2020 is inspired by the traditional art of Warli. The motifs showcase our harvest festival themes – of earthen pots, cattle, sugarcane and village environment.

The narrative of Thamizhar Thirunal celebration themes is handcrafted for you in saris and readymades for men, women and kids. Embody the aesthetics of South Indian culture inspired by Warli art in our Pongal collections!

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