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Pongal 2024: Know date, time, significance and more of this harvest festival

When is Pongal 2024? Pongal is traditionally celebrated in mid-January, coinciding with the Tamil month of Thai, and it will be celebrated on January 15 this year.

Pongal 2024: Know date, time, significance and more of this harvest festival RBA
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First Published Jan 9, 2024, 4:21 PM IST

Pongal 2024: Pongal is a harvest festival observed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala in southern India. The celebration heralds the end of the winter season and the start of the harvest season, namely the rice harvest. Pongal is traditionally observed in mid-January, coinciding with the Tamil month of Thai. 

While Makar Sankranti is celebrated in the north, Pongal will be celebrated in the south on January 15, 2024. Pongal includes ceremonial worship of cattle, Indra (the deity of rain), agricultural-related goods, and sun worship. Pongal is a harvest celebration celebrated over four days. It is a four-day holiday with different meanings and traditions for each day.

Pongal 2024: Know date, time, significance and more of this harvest festival RBA

The first day is Bhogi Pongal when people pray to Indra for rain, happiness, and wealth. In the evening, old household objects are removed and burned.

On the second day, Thai Pongal is dedicated to thanking the Sun God for the winter solstice. As a gift to the Sun, a special delicacy, particularly a sweet rice pudding known as "kheer," is cooked.

On the third day, Mattu Pongal entails adorning and honouring animals. On this day, bull racing activities take place.

The fourth day involves making rangoli at the main door of homes and exchanging pleasantries and sweets with neighbours to commemorate the Kannam Pongal celebration.

Pongal 2024: Know date, time, significance and more of this harvest festival RBA

Date And Time:
Pongal falls on January 15 this year. The following are the times for the four-day celebration:

Bhogi Pongal on Monday, January 15: Sankranti Moment: 2:54 AM

Thai Pongal on Tuesday, January 16

Mattu Pongal on Wednesday, January 17

Kannam Pongal on Thursday, January 18

How Pongal Is Celebrated:
The Pongal festival tradition resembles the Govardhan Puja celebrated in North India, and the Chhath Puja celebrated in Bihar. The Pongal festival spans four days, each with its own customs. The first day is Bhogi Pongal, the second is Thai Pongal, the third is Kannum Pongal, and the fourth is Mattu Pongal. On the first day, people clean their homes and discard unnecessary items. On the second day, they offer arghya (offering of water) to the Sun god. This day also involves offering new rice to the Sun. On this day, gratitude is expressed to the Sun god, Indra, cows, and bulls, as well as tools used in agriculture.
 

Pongal 2024: Know date, time, significance and more of this harvest festival RBA
Significance Of Pongal:

During the Pongal festival, people perform worship and prayers to express gratitude for a good agricultural harvest and prosperity. It is believed that on this day, the Tamil New Year also begins. On the first day, known as Bhogi Pongal, gratitude is expressed to Lord Indra for a bountiful harvest and good rainfall.

On the second day, worship is dedicated to the Sun god, on the third day, there is a ritualistic worship of animals, and finally, on the last day, homes are decorated with flowers, symbolizing wishes for happiness and prosperity. Pongal is a festival expressing gratitude to the sun, nature, animals, and all deities for a successful harvest, abundant light, and a joyful life.

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