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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pongal Celebration|USA

 To me Pongal is the best festival celebrated by us. Its the harvest festival celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Thai.Thai pongal is celebrated as a four day festival.

sakkara pongal

  • The first day is "bhogi" to worship lord Indira to get good rains for the rest of the year.
  • Second day is pongal its thanks giving to Sun.Sun is the most important for all the lives in the world .Without sun there is no food, there is no life. So Sun is considered as god and offering is given to him by preparing the freshest vegetables and rice grown during the month.
  • Third day its maatu pongal literally mean cow pongal. Its thanks giving to cows which helps to plow the land.
  • Fourth day is kanum pongal. In our village girl kids used to wear traditional dresses and offer the rice prepared in to the large ponds (kulam) with a song and dance its called koppi . This song and dance happens in every street end and the rice will be dropped in the water near vinayaka temple. In towns we simply hand over the offerings to the dobbi's (people who wash clothes) who sit near vinayaka temple near the pond.
     In brahmin families they prepare varieties of rice like lemon rice,curd rice,tamarind rice,tomato rice,pongal etc and they pray to god for the longevity of their brothers.

How do you celebrate your pongal festive?I am eager knowing your way of celebration.

My childhood
       When we were kids we used to celebrate the festival in our hometown. While grandma and mom prepared the feast we kids used to munch sugar cane and help them. This is a picture of my grandma from last year' pongal. She is no more ,we miss her a lot.She used make the best rawjackfruit curry.

grand ma

        We used to make pongal in temple and in house.There is a large yard, its decorated with rice paintings. On the paintings sand is spread. On top of it there will be be a stone(the stone itself is decorated.

Mom doing pongal

       Iron stoves are placed ,stoves are filled with small fired logs(woods).On the stove goes the brass utensil  filled with milk and water. The delicious feast is served to sun god on a plantain leaf along with broken coconut and bananas with beetle leaf's. There will be 5-7 varieties of vegetables,ghee, papad and Dal with the sweet and white pongal.

traditional stove for pongal festival

     This picture was taken last year when my mom made pongal. Though we live a long way away we can connect to our homeland by making pongal.

How to plan for pongal

  Here we get most of the groceries required for pongal, most not all. Vegetables can be brought in Indian store.


  • New rice you can't get it here.Get a new rice bag and use the rice.
  • Desi papdi-Avaraikai.
  • Sweet potato- Sakaravalli kilangu.
  • Raw Banana-Valaikai.
  • Pumpkin-Parangikai.
  • Eggplant-kathirikai.
  • Coconut - Try to get a fresh coconut.
  • Beetle leaf-4  of them is packed and sold -you can share with your friend if you need only 2.
  • Banana leaf- You can get it frozen in Mexican stores.Its not good when you serve food in it. I offered to god in brand new plates.

  • Sugar cane-You sometimes get in Mexican store but not sure .Better check with the store manager when it will be available.
  • Soak the rice and prepare rice painting(kola mavu) and put it the day before.
  • If you want to put kolams in the utensils get it done the first day.


  1. Such an elaborate & interesting post dear,Thanks for sharing with us .

  2. nice post dear Really informative

  3. Lovely presentation and loved all the info dear!!

  4. This is a real good post Sathya. Try to add more photos to the village pongal style celebration next time.

  5. Love your pongal celebration...reminds me of my place! Love the rice kolams!

  6. WOW! Beautiful post and happy pongal dear!


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