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Rituals of Pongal

Pongal Cards
Traditional practices always have some rituals associated with them. On the similar lines Pongal rituals are also performed on the festival of Pongal. Pongal is mainly celebrated by the southern part of India and especially by the people of Tamil Nadu.

People start preparing for the Pongal celebrations much before and there are several Pongal rituals that are followed by people. For the most common rituals followed on the occasion of Pongal include Cleaning of the houses. The place where the Pongal prayers are to be carried out are cleaned and covered with dung, a day before the Pongal festival. The place to carry out these rituals is generally a courtyard or porch.

The Pongal kolams are an integral part of Pongal rituals, as people make several kolams on Pongal. Kolams are generally made of white color but you may also come across kolams made up of different colors. The basic belief behind drawing these kolams is, that the rice flour used to make these kolams is eaten by the birds and insects and this shows that man is concerned about animals. It is also believed that these kolams do not allow bad things to enter the house. A usual Pongal kolam is the Sankranti Rath.

Apart from the above people perform other rituals on the four days of the Pongal festival. On the first day of Pongal, prayers are made before cutting of the rice yield. People worship sun God and the earth. Since it is a festival of harvesting so the first paddy that is harvested is used to make the Pongal. The rice is boiled with milk and is made to spill out to make the Pongal.

On the second day of Pongal the old articles are thrown in the fire and people wear new clothes on this day after having an oil massage. On the third day of the Pongal festival the farm animal like cattles are worshipped. On this day the cattles are given bath and dressed in a beautiful way. It is served with Pongal and arti is also done so as to keep the cattles away from the eye of evils.

On The final day of the Pongal festival all the family members visit to the places of their near and dear ones. People also put some food on the banana leaves for the birds to eat. During the Pongal days some people have a small bite of rice that is cooked and leave the rest for birds. People worship god and thank him for his blessings.

Apart from the above people also sing Pongal songs and perform Pongal dances on this occasion to celebrate Pongal in the best way.

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