Thai Pongal, The Festival of Sun God Surya
| Wednesday, Jan 11 2012 10:39PM IST
New Delhi:â€˜Thai Pongalâ€™ commonly known as Pongal is celebrated by Tamils as a harvest festival. Pongal is dedicated to serve Sun god Surya, coincides with winter harvest festival Makar Sankranti which is celebrated throughout the country. Thai refers to tenth month of Tamilian calendar and Pongal in Tamil refers to festivity. It has a long history behind more than 1000 years. In Medieval period when Chola Empire was ruling Puthiyeedu was celebrated at first harvest of year. Tamils refers Pongal as â€˜Tamizhar Thirunaalâ€™ meaning festival of Tamils.The day earlier Pongal is called Bong on this day people cast away old things and concentrates on new belongings. This is similar to north Indian festival Holika disposing abandoned things.On this day people cleaned their house, painted and decorated and in villages horns of buffaloes and oxen are painted.On the same day in Andhra Pradesh the tradition is celebrated as â€˜Bhogiâ€™. People in Andhra Pradesh celebrate the occasion in a grand way as most of their harvest is ready or earned money from that.In ceremony called â€˜Bhogi palluâ€™ fruits from harvest is collected with season flowers and sometimes mixed with money. The mixture is then poured on children and children collects money and sweet fruits.In northern and eastern part of India this day is celebrated as Lohri in Punjab, Magh Bihu or Bhogali Bihu in Assam respectively.