Home > Society > Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum

Thai Pirandhaal Vazhi Pirakkum

That’s the name of the song DD used to telecast every Pongal. Pongal is a unique festival because it is celebrated in so many names through out India – Sankranti, Lohri (I heard it here) and Bihu. I always thought it is the truly Tamil festival – the harvest festival that thanks the Sun God. In that sense, it could be my only festival as my name refers to the God too. It is religion independent, I felt. Pongal at home is an awesome experience and I have missed only one before.

On the previous day, we tie small parts of a cute plant to the entrance. The day starts with assembling the Pongal stones in the front yard of the house. Abi and Amma finish the kolam early in the morning in spite of the Margazhi (rather Thai) cold. That reminds me of the days we used to go to the temples during Margazhi to get the prasadam between 5 and 6am. The ‘manjal’ (turmeric) plant is kept near the offerings. We use dried palm leaves to start the fire. Stoking the fire is the only work I do during the festival. Just before it boils over fully, we howl (call it the olam), my appa does it well, to praise the God. Thus is cooked Ven Pongal.

Amma prepares Sakkarai Pongal, another favourite dish when I was small, in the kitchen. Idlis, vada and chutney make up the breakfast. All of us are dressed brightly and eat on the big banana leaves. Sambhar comes up for lunch. The tasteless Ven Pongal and the sambhar make up for a delightful combo. The evening is usually spent with friends and sugarcanes until the TV came up.

Thus starts the new year for most of us. We don’t usually celebrate the one that comes on Apr 14 much. With that, I wish all of you get a new way to go along this Pongal. Happy Pongal folks!

Categories: Society
  1. Me
    15 January 2006 at 10:50 am

    Happy Pongal Spark..adhu enna pongalku recipe kudutha maadhri..thus is cooked ven pongal nu statement vera…:)

  2. gopi
    16 January 2006 at 2:28 pm

    I am bit confused….

    1) I always think Pongal is not religion independent, as other religions don’t worship sun.
    2) Is it ven pongal or sarkarai pongal ?? Ven pongal is what we can have it daily in hotels with raitha (in bangalore) or sambhar & chutney (rest of the world)… Sarkarai pongal is sweet pongal..
    3) Is it banana leaf or plaintain leaf ??

  3. 16 January 2006 at 4:57 pm

    aha me, vanduttanya πŸ™‚

    gopi, 1 is your opinion. well, aren’t there other religions that worship the sun? πŸ˜• 2 – enga veetule we call the ones we get in the hotel as milagu pongal and the one we cook outside in the pot on pongal day as ven pongal. it tastes plain and different since we dont mix pepper. without sambar/chutney, it’d be tough to eat it. i’m not very sure what the difference exactly is. as for 3, i am yet to google what a plantain and a banana are πŸ™‚ good observations definitely. you are a fussbudget da πŸ˜‰

  4. gopi
    17 January 2006 at 11:40 am

    1.(taken from internet) Egyptian, Zoroastrianism, Mithraism, Roman religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Druids, Aztecs and Incas include the sun in their religious belief (Some of them don’t exists now.) So how many of them are in India and how many of them celebrate pongal esp??

    If you take religions in TN, the next two largely followed ones (Christianity & Islam) don’t believe in the sun god.

    Leave 2 & 3, they are my doubts and I don’t know which is correct. So asked you.

  5. sk
    17 January 2006 at 7:21 pm

    Happy Pongal.

    You guys actually celebrate Pongal like it is shown on TV, and movies! πŸ™‚

  6. Me
    18 January 2006 at 9:30 am


  7. vatsan
    19 January 2006 at 10:13 am

    i just realized that there is such a thing as pongal. it came, it went and that’s all πŸ™‚

    happy pongal!

  8. 20 January 2006 at 5:17 pm

    vatsan, you hit the nail on the head in your comment on the old post.

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