Pongal is a four-day harvest festival celebrated primarily in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is typically celebrated in the middle of January and marks the beginning of the northward journey of the sun, known as Uttarayana. The festival is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya, and is celebrated to give thanks for a bountiful harvest.
The word "Pongal" means "to boil" and refers to the traditional dish that is made during the festival. The dish is made by boiling rice, lentils, and milk together and is then sweetened with jaggery or sugar. The sweet Pongal dish is offered to the Sun God as a part of the festival's rituals.
The festival is also marked by various other traditional customs and rituals, such as drawing colorful Rangoli designs in front of homes, decorating cows and bulls, and participating in community events and gatherings.
In addition to being a harvest festival, Pongal is also considered a time for family and friends to come together, exchange gifts, and make new beginnings. It's a time for people to forget their differences and celebrate the beauty of life and the richness of culture.