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Indian Festivals> Pongal
Pongal is a famous festival of South India, especially in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is a three-day long harvest festival, celebrated in honour of the Rain God Indra as well as the Sim God and the holy cow. In the period of the ‘Makar Rasi5, when the sun travels from Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, the festival of Pongal occurs.
Lord Indra is worshipped on the first day of Pongal, which is known as ‘Bhogi Pongal5. Sisters pray for the welfare of their brothers. On the second day the Sim God is worshipped for imparting heat and energy to the fields. And on the third and last day of the Pongal, cattle is worshipped, known as ‘Mattu Pongal5. A portion of the pudding is kept in the open for feeding birds and insects. A special event of this day is ‘bullfight5 or ‘Jallikatu5 which is organised in every town and village of the state. This game is traditionally played by the young men who try to wrench the currency notes that are tied to the horns of the bull. Special dish called Pongal is prepared by the ladies, to commemorate the festival.