This year Mayur Indian Kitchen is proud to participate and provide Indian cuisine in Pongal Thiruvizha 2019 at Taipei organized by Taiwan Tamil Sangam, as well as the NCTU’s annual Pongal festival in Hsinchu. There will be many regional Indian performances and cultural activities. In both, the events are for Indians and Non-Indians, in short, for all. If anyone wants to know more about the Tamil culture, traditions, language etc. one should join and celebrate this festival together. What is Pongal and its traditions etc.!? Read below to know more about the traditional Tamil festival.
台北場登記報名Taipei Pongal : https://bit.ly/2Coh4tQ
新竹場登記報名NCTU Hsinchu Pongal link : https://www.facebook.com/events/277095482956813/
今年，馬友友印度廚房 很榮幸能參與由「台灣泰米爾桑格姆組織」舉辦的Pongal Thiruvizha 2019，以及台灣交通大學在新竹舉行的年度Pongal節，我們將在以上活動現場供應道地的印度美饌。
About Pongal Festival
Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festivals of South India, mainly of Tamil Nadu. Pongal falls in the mid-January every year and marks the auspicious beginning of Uttarayan - sun's journey northwards.
The history of the festival can be traced back to the Sangam Age i.e. 200 B.C. To 300 A.D. Although, Pongal originated as a Dravidian Harvest festival and has a mention in Sanskrit Puranas, historians identify the festival with the Thai Un and Thai Niradal which are believed to have been celebrated during the Sangam Age.
Pongal festival lasts for four days. This four days long festival of Tamil Nadu is celebrated for showing gratitude to nature. The literal meaning of Pongal is "spilling over" and it had been named so, because of the tradition of boiling rice in a pot until it starts overflowing. Other traditions of the celebration include drawing of Kolam, swinging & cooking of delicious Pongal.
The first day of the festival is celebrated as Bhogi festival in the honour of Lord Indra, (the God of rain). Prayers are offered to Lord Indra for timely rain and bountiful harvest. Another ritual which is performed on this day is called Bhogi Mantalu. Traditionally, all the useless household articles are thrown into the fire made of wood and cow-dung cakes. The burning of all that is old is symbolic of starting off a fresh new year. On the second day, lord Sun is worshipped by the people. As per the ritual rice are boiled with the milk outdoor in an earthen pot which is offered to Lord Sun. People wear traditional clothes and sing and dance in the praise of God. The third day of the celebration is known as "Mattu Pongal". As farmers cultivate their lands are depend on cattle, so they honoured and worshipped by the farmers on this day. The fourth and the last day of this festival are celebrated as "Kannum Pongal". On this day, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati are worshipped.
Some legendary stories are also associated with Pongal festival celebrations. The two most popular legends of Pongal are stories related to Lord Shiva and Lord Indra.
According to a legend, once Shiva asked his bull, Basava, to go to the earth and ask the mortals to have an oil massage and bath every day and to eat once a month. Inadvertently, Basava announced that everyone should eat daily and have an oil bath once a month. This mistake enraged Shiva who then cursed Basava, banishing him to live on the earth forever. He would have to plough the fields and help people produce more food. Thus the association of this day with cattle.
Another legend of Lord Indra and Lord Krishna also led to Pongal celebrations. It is said when Lord Krishna was in his childhood, he decided to teach a lesson to Lord Indra who became arrogant after becoming the king of all deities. Lord Krishna asked all the cowherds to stop worshipping Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra and sent forth his clouds for thunderstorms and 3 days continuous rains. Lord Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan to save all the humans. Later, Lord Indra realized his mistake and divine power of Krishna.
Thus the festival of Pongal brings happiness and peace for all. It is a festival when God is praised with simple faith and sincerity.