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Popular harvest festivals

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Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festivals of south India, mailnly Tamilnadu. For Hindus the date of pongal is extremely auspicious and astronomically significant. Around January 14, every year sun begins its six-months –long journey northwards. Makaram Rashithis celestial event is celebrated as pongal in south Inida.

Were ever Tamil people is in India and or any other country's they will come to there home town to celebrate pongal function especially rural people. Pngal festival lasts for four days. The first day, Bhogi pongal, is a day for the family. Surya pongal , the second day, is dedicated to the worship of surya, the sun God. The Third day, Mattupongal is for worship of the cattle. It is the biggest harvest festival, spread over four days.

The name of the festival is derived form pongal, a rice pudding made form freshly harvested rice, milk and jaggery.

Celebrations include drawing of kolam, swinging & cooking of delicious pongal and wear new dress also. Where pongal is known as Jellikattu, bundles of money are tied to the horns of bulls and villagers try and wrest the bundles form them. Community meals are made form the freshly gathered harvest and enjoyed by the entire village. The Tamils also remember the poet Tiruvalluvar, who was born on this.

The last day is kaanum pongal. It is that part of the festival when familes used to gather on the riverbanks and have a sumptuous meal (kootanchoru). It is also time for some traditional dances such as kummi and Kolattam. In recent years, that day is celebrated as uzhavar Tirunal in honor of farmers.

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