க்ஷேமமா இருங்கோ

ஞாயிறு, ஜனவரி 14, 2007

Pongalo Pongal.

Makara Sankaranthi.
Pongal..is a great and pleasant Festival .In Tamil Nadu, Pongal is a social festival dedicated to the peasants who form the back bone of this great nation.Tamil Nadu celebrates this festival in an unique way.The first day, that is, a day before the Pongal Day, is called Bhogi. This is a day when we cleanse ourselves of the past, decide to live in the present, with bright hopes of the Future.To symbolise the concept, Tamils burn all dusted and rusted things in front of their houses. (However, in view of strict instructions from Pollution Control Board, burning of tyres etc, is prohibited, to keep our atmosphere free from gases like carbon monoxide etc.)The day Pongal is the day, when the planet Sun enters the Makara Rasi from Dhanush ie., the first day of Thy, in the Tamil Calendar.Tamils all over greet the Sun God, pray to Him for Happiness and Prosperity. This is a day when the peasants thank God Sun and God Varuna for timely sunshine and rain during the days of harvest.A Sweet Dish Pongal is prepared every home on this auspicious occasion. Most of the families in villages congregate before village temples to prepare Pongal on an open fire pan on a new earthern mud pots tied with auspicious manjal (turmeric) and inji (ginger) leaves kothu.A mix of wet rice, and dhal is put inside the mud pots and with water, boiled. In fact, pongal literally means boiling over.When the rice and dhal are finally cooked, jaggery is added with thick milk which gives a flavour all around. The milk boils over as to spill over the pot, and all around greet the same with cries of Pongalo Pongal. Along with Sweet Pongal, a plain Pongal called ven pongal is also prepared. The pongal is then added with ghee and cashewnuts to give boost to cholesterol. ( obese men and women of urban India who spend millions of rupees in atorvastin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels, make it a point, to take as much pongal containing ghee and cashewnuts to bring back cholesterol to the same old levels of more than 400.)In some houses, aval or paal payaasam, dal payaasum, vadai, appalam, murukku, pachidi are also prepared and a wholesome lunch is prepared.For newly married couples, the first Pongal day after their day of marriage is called Thalai Pongal.In short, Pongalo pongal is a Great Day for all Tamils.Tamils greet one another with messages ofPONGALO PONGAL. HAPPY PONGAL.