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Pongal festival brings Indian families together

Each+day+of+the+four+day+Pongal+festival+has+special+significance+with+the+second+day+being+Thai+Pongal+which+marks+the+beginning+of+the+Thai+month+in+the+Indian+calendar.+This+day+is+mainly+dedicated+to+the+Sun+God+in+thanks+for+a+successful+harvest.+As+part+of+the+second+day%2C+families+boil+milk+and+when+the+milk+boils+over%2C+everybody+shouts+in+Tamil+%E2%80%9CPongalo+Pongal%E2%80%9D+which+loosely+means+happiness+and+prosperity+should+overflow+in+the+home+just+like+the+milk.+%0A%0A
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Pongal festival brings Indian families together

Each day of the four day Pongal festival has special significance with the second day being Thai Pongal which marks the beginning of the Thai month in the Indian calendar. This day is mainly dedicated to the Sun God in thanks for a successful harvest. As part of the second day, families boil milk and when the milk boils over, everybody shouts in Tamil “Pongalo Pongal” which loosely means happiness and prosperity should overflow in the home just like the milk.

Each day of the four day Pongal festival has special significance with the second day being Thai Pongal which marks the beginning of the Thai month in the Indian calendar. This day is mainly dedicated to the Sun God in thanks for a successful harvest. As part of the second day, families boil milk and when the milk boils over, everybody shouts in Tamil “Pongalo Pongal” which loosely means happiness and prosperity should overflow in the home just like the milk.

Shreya Jagan

Each day of the four day Pongal festival has special significance with the second day being Thai Pongal which marks the beginning of the Thai month in the Indian calendar. This day is mainly dedicated to the Sun God in thanks for a successful harvest. As part of the second day, families boil milk and when the milk boils over, everybody shouts in Tamil “Pongalo Pongal” which loosely means happiness and prosperity should overflow in the home just like the milk.

Shreya Jagan

Shreya Jagan

Each day of the four day Pongal festival has special significance with the second day being Thai Pongal which marks the beginning of the Thai month in the Indian calendar. This day is mainly dedicated to the Sun God in thanks for a successful harvest. As part of the second day, families boil milk and when the milk boils over, everybody shouts in Tamil “Pongalo Pongal” which loosely means happiness and prosperity should overflow in the home just like the milk.

Shreya Jagan, Guest Contributor

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Some Indian students on campus will be bringing a four day celebration to an end on Friday as Pongal, a festival dedicated to the Sun God, comes to a close.

“Pongal is important to me because my family and I celebrate it every year and it has become a big part of our lives,” freshman Mrinalini Venkatachalam said. “I like celebrating it because I get gifts and get to eat really good sweets.”

Each day in the four day celebration is dedicated to a different aspect of life.

“The first day is called Bhogi,” Frisco resident Mala Vijayarangan said. “Out with the old, in with the new is basically the motto for the first day. They burn things of the past that are no longer useful as a symbolism to burning bad habits and the impurity in people’s hearts. The second day is Thai Pongal which marks the beginning of the Thai month in the Indian calendar. This day is mainly dedicated to the Sun God in thanks for a successful harvest. The third day is Maattu Pongal which is a celebration of the cattle for helping the farmers raise crops. The bulls in India are decorated with ornaments and are given a day of rest. Women offer different colored rice to birds and pray for the wellbeing of their brothers and brothers in turn gift their sisters. The fourth and final day is called Kaanum Pongal. The word Kaanum means visit, it’s usually a day for families to reunite.”

Though the festival takes a lot of preparation with making the various special Indian delectables such as Pongal which is also the name of a type of rice lentil dish also made in a sweet form called sakkara pongal, poli, and vada, some people decide to make it more of a simple yet still heartfelt practice.

“We don’t make it too big,” freshman Kavya Srinivas said. “Our ritual basically consists of waking up early in the morning and taking a really good shower to make sure we do our best to cleanse ourselves before praying. After that my mom starts making all the delicacies which takes more than two hours to make. We take it to our pooja room as an offering. We sing religious songs, pray and hope well for our loved ones and ourselves. Though it isn’t a grand occasion, we celebrate it amongst our family with just the same mindset.”

This festival gives people a chance to reconnect with their families and throw away all the negativity in their life. Though the festival may not seem as much to the common eye, it holds a lot of meaning for those that celebrate it.

“Though the festival is mostly celebrated with grandeur in Indian villages and cities, we follow the footsteps of our family elders and strive to continue the tradition here which makes us feel at home though we may be miles away,” Vijayarangan said. “This festival will always have a special place in our hearts.”

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Pongal festival brings Indian families together