Monday, January 12, 2009

Thai Pongal Festival - Makara Sankranti Festival

As we all know, agriculture is the main and major occupation of India. In order to pay thanksgiving to Sun, Earth and Cattles, Pongal Festival is celebrated every year in the mid of January, the first day of tamil month calendar of Thai. Hence the festival is called as "Thai Pongal Festival" or "Makar Sankranti Festival". It is the most important and popular Hindu Festival. Festivals are the occasions would bring the happiness and joy to the people. The significance of Makar Sankranti is the day on which the sun begins it journey northwards. During the Pongal Festival, the fresh and newly rice cooked along with jaggery, cashew-nuts, ghee, etc. and offered to Sun God. Rangoli plays an important role in Pongal Festivals. Every home is decorated with various colorful kolams in all the three days of Pongal Festival. During this occasion, every family members, relatives and friends will share and exchange the Pongal Gifts and Greetings among them. The Pongal Festival is celebrated three days viz.
  • First day - Bogi Festival, dedicated to the worship of Lord Indran
  • Second day - Pongal Festival, dedicated to the worship of Lord Surya, Sun God
  • Third day - Mattu Pongal Festival, dedicated to the worship of Cattles
Pongal Festival at Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple

At Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple, special pujas and aaradhanas to be performed to the deities on the Thai Thingal Festival. Another important feature of this temple related with the Pongal Festival is that Lord Sundareswarar and Goddess Meenakshi would present the sugarcane to the "Stone Elephant" on this occasion. This is the one among the 64 Thiruvilaiyadals (Miracles) of Lord Sundareswarar which is called as "Kal Yaanaikku Karumbu Alithal". This elephant is situated at the center of the Madurai city near the banks of River Vaigai and the place is now called as "Yanaikal".

Wish You All A Very Happy, Prosperous and Sweet Pongal
Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum

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