Pongal 2020 is a festival that marks the end of the winters and the beginning of the harvest season. Pongal is also associated with delicious food, and recipes that are famous in the Southern Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, as well as in countries with Tamil diaspora including Sri Lanka, Mauritius, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, etc. The festival is one of the most important ones in the Tamil calendar and has been celebrated for over a thousand years. As celebrations for the four-day festival swing into motion, here is a lowdown of the date, time, significance, rituals and food of the festival.
Pongal 2020 Date:
Pongal 2020 is right around the corner and its dates of celebration span across four days. Pongal festivities begin on 14th January 2020, which is Tuesday, and go on till four days till the 17th January 2020. This is one of the first festivals celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar. It also marks the onset of the first month of the Tamil calendar, which makes it another reason to celebrate the occasion.
(Also Read: Magh Bihu 2020: Date, Know More About The Festival of Pitha, Laru And Jolpan)
Pongal 2020 Time:
There is no specific time that Pongal 2020 will be celebrated as such, but a majority of the festivities take place during the day due to the festival's significance.
Significance of Pongal:
Pongal is meant to be a tribute to the God Sun for the bountiful harvest of crops. The festival denotes the upward voyage of the sun into the Northern hemisphere. The word 'Pongal' itself is associated with the practice of boiling rice, as 'Pong' in Tamil means 'to boil' or 'to spill over'.
Pongal is one of the most important ones in the Tamil calendar and has been celebrated for over a thousand years.
Rituals Of Pongal:
Each day of Pongal has its own special significance and rituals that are associated with it-
Day 1 - 14th January - Bhogi Festival, which is known to aid in getting rid of all the useless items inside the home. Houses are also tidied up and decorated for the festivities. People purchase new vessels as well. The first day is a tribute to the God of Rain, God Indra.
Day 2 - 15th January - Surya Pongal or Thai Pongal, the day of worship of the Sun god. This is the day when households prepare the offering of rice with milk, which is then offered as a tribute to the Sun God. This is traditionally done at early sunrise when the new month is slotted to begin.
Day 3 - 16th January - Mattu Pongal; on this day, people worship cows as per traditions of the festival. The cows are decorated with garlands and vermillion.
Day 4 - 17th January - Kaanum Pongal; on this day, families gather together to eat traditionally cooked food and also perform traditional dances.
(Also Read: Pongal 2020: Date, Time, Significance, Rituals And Foods To Eat)
Pongal Food Items | Pongal Food Festival Menu
There are several recipes and foods associated with Pongal, most of which comprise generous amounts of rice and coconut. The Sweet Pongal is a must have on the festival. Here are a few others that you have got to try.
Avial is a creamy vegetable curry made by mixing seasonal vegetables with curd and coconut milk. Find the recipe of Avial here.
A crispy snack made up of rice batter fried in oil, this simple vada recipe is a must-try for all South Indian food lovers.
Give your traditional rice idli a Kanjeevaram twist by simply adding chana dal and urad dal to the rice/sooji batter.
Pooran Poli/Thengai Poli
Crispy dough sheets are filled with a sweet and spicy lentil mixture to give us a traditional snack. To ace the recipe of this dish, click here.
Made with toor dal and lots of pepper, the Rasam is a must-have on Pongal 2020! Find out how to make it here.
Who wouldn't like a zingy new twist to the traditional rice recipe? Lemon rice is an easy dish to make at home, click here to know how.
This is an accompaniment which has thin sheets of rice paste fried in hot oil. To know how to make it at home, click here.
And finally, the dessert that Pongal celebrations would be incomplete without - Sweet Pongal. Made with rice and lentils slow-cooked in coconut milk and garnished with dry fruits, this recipe is a must-try this Pongal 2020.
Here's wishing everyone a very happy Pongal 2020 and an auspicious year ahead!