FARMERS’ FESTIVAL- 16th January

Subsitance Farmer Tamil Nadu India Stock Photo - Download Image Now - iStock

This week’s Sunday Story -Number 2691 on the 2541st day is on the significance of a VERY VERY IMPORTANT DAY- 16th January! Yes this post is on FARMERS’ FESTIVAL.

FARMERS the backbone of the Society is the very important professional for whom today is dedicated!

Men or women they toil and get us food!

The Festival Of Pongal – Tamilnadu’s Pride

From the fresh crunch of sugarcane, foams of rice boiling over to the bulls adorned with flowers the festival of Pongal brings along with it vibrant memories and colourful experiences. Even when we are sitting in the hustle-bustle of our city among honking cars and towering skyscrapers the moment the word Pongal echoes in our ears we get teleported to acres and acres of lush green fields(probably our hometown), women singing traditional folk songs and men wrestling Jallikattu bulls. Pongal is a festival that Tamil people take pride in celebrating and we have proven time and again.

Pongal or Thai Pongal as it is formally known as is a four-day Hindu festival which marks the start of the sun’s six-month-long journey northwards. The festival is dedicated to the Sun God Suryan for blessing the crops with an abundance of sunshine. Though celebrated by Tamils worldwide the festival is of great significance to farmers as it indicates the start of harvest. It is fondly referred to as ‘Thamizhar Thirunaal’ or ‘Day of the Tamil people’. The first day of Pongal coincides with Makar Sankranthi which is a harvest festival celebrated in other parts of our country.

The first day of the festivities is Boghi. On this day households are cleansed by burning old articles and clothes. People gather together on the street, dump the unwanted stuff and light them. Houses are then cleaned and decorated for the following days

For the next 3 days, there are several customs and traditions which have been faithfully upheld since generations. A rice dish which is also known as Pongal is prepared and offered to the Sun God on all three days. The dish is cooked in a decorated Mann Paanai (clay pot) under the sun. A clay stove fired with firewood is used for this. We all have the memory of huddling around the stove waiting for the rice to boil over. When it does, we would chant ‘Pongal O Pongal’ thrice. The rice would then be turned into Chakkara Pongal and Ven Pongal and offered as neivedhyam to the Gods along with sugarcanes, flowers and other regular offerings. 

The third day is Mattu Pongal or ‘Pongal for Cows’. It is also known as ‘Uzhavar Thirunaal’ or ‘Day of the Farmers’. For farmers, it is the day to celebrate the cattle that provide them with food and fertilizer. Farmers adorn their cattle with flowers, turmeric and kunkumam and feed them with the prepared Pongal, bananas and other treats. We also prepare huge feasts for our relatives at the farm. Traditional games like Jallikattu and Rekla race are held. Farmers also host their relatives and entertain them with feasts.

The fourth day is Kaanum Pongal. Kaanum means to see or visit. On this day in villages, women and children visit the temple with offerings and throng around to perform the Kummi, a traditional dance in which women and young girls dance around in circles. Family get-togethers are held and in the cities, the day is marked by visits to public attractions like the beach. On this day in villages, women and children visit the temple with offerings and throng around to perform the Kummi, a traditional dance in which women and young girls dance around in circles.

There is also this tradition where all sisters pray for their brothers by offering ‘Kannu Pidis’ where small balls of coloured rice are placed on a banana leaf along with sugar cane and offered to crowd and sparrows.

Let’s carry the baton of our tradition together !

Wishes all a very happy & prosperous Kaanum Pongal!

In Tamilnadu these professionals are called UZHAVARGAL and the day is called ”உழவர் திருநாள்”

Uzhavar Thirunal

Uzhavar Thirunal is a public holiday, and a farmer’s festival observed in Tamilnadu in the month of January for thousands of years. The date is based on a solar calendar rather than the phases of the moon. Uzhavar in Tamil means the farmer and Thirunal mean the festival. Pongal festival is popularly known as Uzhavar Thirunal acknowledged as a way to thank and honor their livelihood, i.e. agriculture and farming. Uzhavar Thirunal extends literally for four days, starting from Bhogi the first day, the main Pongal festival, the Mattu Pongal on the third day and Kaanum Pongal or the meeting day of family members coming as the fourth day. People of Tamilnadu celebrates this by making their festive dish Sarkarai Pongal which will be made of rice, dhal, and jaggery in a traditional pot mostly outside the house using firewood. Uzhavar Tirunal is celebrated with a lot of joy and happiness where women folks sing and dance with music specific to the occasion. The homes will be decorated with sugarcanes and turmeric. The Pongal festival was earlier celebrated as Puthyeedu linking it to the harvest season, later getting the name Pongal.

Uzhavar Thirunal
207 Tamilnadu Farmer Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from  Dreamstime

Happy FAEMERS’ FESTIVAL! Great and grand festival !

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