Chennai: People across Tamil Nadu on Sunday celebrated the harvest festival of Pongal thanking rain, sun and farm animals.
People got up early, put on new clothes and went to temples.
The aroma of ghee fried cashews, almonds and cardamom filled homes as a traditional dish of rice, jaggery and Bengal gram was made.
As the ingredients of Chakarai Pongal boiled in milk, people called out 'Pongolo Pongal, Pongolo Pongal'.
The mud pot or stainless steel in which the dish is cooked is decorated by tying up ginger, turmeric, sugarcane piece and banana at the neck.
The Pongal dish is offered to Sun God as thanksgiving and eaten as 'prasad'. It is made at the auspicious time and in some homes, conches are blown prior to the formal offering.
People exchanged greetings and Chakarai Pongal with their neighbours.
The Pongal festivities take place over four days, the first day being Bhogi, which was Saturday, when people burn their old clothes, mats and other items. Homes are painted afresh.
The second day is the main Pongal festival celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Thai. The third day is the Mattu Pongal when bulls and cows are bathed and their horns painted and worshipped as they play an important role in farms. The fourth day is the Kannum Pongal - the day to go out and meet relatives and friends, and go sight seeing.
Women feed the birds with coloured rice and pray for the welfare of their brothers.
In some parts of the state, Jallikattu — a bull-taming sport — is held.
Wishes flooded in on Twitter as well:
Greetings to all fellow citizens on Makar Sankranti and Pongal. These festivals are a moment to celebrate the hard work and enterprise of millions of our farmers. May this day bring joy, health and happiness to all #PresidentKovind
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 14, 2018
Pongal greetings to everyone! pic.twitter.com/701iLPUhaZ
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 14, 2018
Wishing a very happy Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Uttarayni to everyone.
May this harvest season bring prosperity and peace.
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 14, 2018
With the fields swaying in joy at the coming harvest, let us salute the love, hard work and toil of our farmers, our anndatas. Wishing everyone a Happy #MakarSankranti #Pongal, #Bihu #Bhogi and #Uttarayan pic.twitter.com/yme6aHowH1
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) January 14, 2018
— Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) January 14, 2018
Wishing everyone a very Happy Pongal, Bihu and Uttarayan. pic.twitter.com/xjMNBk6vqh
— BJP (@BJP4India) January 14, 2018
— Youth Congress (@IYC) January 14, 2018
Happy Sankranti, happy Pongal, happy Bihu...
— D Roopa IPS (@D_Roopa_IPS) January 14, 2018
— Lee Hsien Loong (@leehsienloong) January 14, 2018
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) January 14, 2018
Let us celebrate this harvest season by remembering our farmers & farm labourers who work day & night to power the nation. Best wishes on Uttarayan, Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Lohri & Bihu. Many names one celebration
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) January 14, 2018
— Meira Kumar (@meira_kumar) January 14, 2018
Greetings on the occasion of #MakarSankranti, #Pongal, #MaghBihu and #Uttarayan
May these festivals celebrating harvest and regeneration bring prosperity to all and may nature bless everyone with a bountiful year ahead.#CitizenMukherjee
— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) January 14, 2018
Greetings to everyone on Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Magh Bihu. May the year ahead bring happiness and prosperity in your lives and around you. pic.twitter.com/j2PBvwbeGx
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) January 14, 2018
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Jan 14, 2018 13:00:08 IST