South Tourism branch office set up is wide spread across South India.
Pongal Festival 2012 - India is bestowed with the bliss of festivity. A major segment of the population here depends on agriculture. As a result, most of the festivals are also related to the agricultural activities of the people. These festivals are celebrated with different names and rituals in almost all the parts of India. Pongal Festival is one of such highly revered festivals celebrated in Tamil Nadu to mark the harvesting of crops by farmers. Held in the middle of January, it is the time when the people get ready to thank God, Earth and their Cattle for the wonderful harvest and celebrate the occasion with joyous festivities and rituals.
The four-day Harvest festival is celebrated all over the state in January. The Pongal Festival begins on the last day of the Tamil month with Bhogi Pongal followed by Surya. It is on this day that Chakkara Pongal, a delicacy of harvest rice cooked with jaggery, ghee and cashew nuts is offered to the Sun God. The third day, Mattu Pongal is dedicated to the Cattle when cows are bathed and adomed with colorful beads and flowers. Jallikattu, the bullfight is held on the last day known as Kannum Pongal.
The first day of the Pongal Festival is called Bhogi. On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from all corners, and collect all unwanted goods. In the evening, people will light bonfires and burn what can be burnt.
The second day of the festival, Surya Pongal, is the day on which the celebrations actually begins, is the first day of the Tamil month Thai. On this day, Surya, the sun God is worshipped and women will wake early on this day to create elaborate kolum on the grounds in front of their doorway or home. Kolums are created with colored rice flour placed on the ground carefully by using one's hand.
The third day is called Maatu Pongal, Maatu meaning cattle. This day is devoted to paying homage to cattle. Cows and Bulls are decorated with paint and bells and people pray to them.
The fourth day is termed as Kannum Pongal. On this day, people travel to see other family members
Jallikattu (Bull Fight)
On the 4th day, Kanya Pongal, coloured balls of the Pongal Festival are made and are offered to birds. A kind of bull-fight, called the 'Jallikattu' is held in Madurai, Tiruchirapalli and Tanjore in Tamil Nadu and several places in Andhra Pradesh. Bundles containing money are tied to the horns of ferocious bulls, and unarmed villagers try to wrest the bundles from them. Bullock cart races and cock-fights are also held. In Andhra Pradesh, every household displays its collection of dolls for three days. Community meals are held at night with freshly harvested ingredients.
Ballads, folk dances, dramas and songs have rich cultural heritages, 'Jallikattu' or bull fight' played in Madurai, Trichy areas are more ferocious than the bull fight which is the beloved sport of Latin speakers in Europe and South America.
Myths and legends, Pongal Festival and ceremonials have helped to fashion an exquisitely charming type of handicrafts. The products of Tamilnadu workmen cater to as much beauty as to utility, which include metal-ware, wood carving, pottery, leather goods, carpets, pith work, palam left products, etc. handloom textiles both cotton and silk have won global appreciation.
Cattle are decorated with garlands, their horns coloured, and mango leyes hung round their necks. Then they are led about in procession exempted from all labour, and virtually, if not actually, worshipped. On this occasion the Jallikattu (bull fight) is held in Al1angunal1ur, near Chennai. Cattle are decorated with garlands, their horns are coloured and mango leaves hung round their necks. They are led in a procession.