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Mattu Pongal - Know History & Religious Belief

Mattu Pongal is one of the most important festivals of the Tamils in the month of January. This festival is celebrated by Tamil people all over the world. It is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe, Canada, USA, Africa, and Mauritius.

The main reason why this festival is so special is that it is celebrated as a festival for working people and for the working class to worship the sun, the natural deity, and to give thanks to other creatures.

History of Mattu Pongal Festival

The history of the festival can be traced back to the Sangam period and can be considered as the ‘Dravidian Harvest Festival’. But some historians say the festival is at least 2,000 years old. It was celebrated as Thai Niradal.

According to the Puranas, unmarried women prayed for the agricultural prosperity of the country during this festive period, and for this purpose, they observed penance in the month of Tamil Markazhi.

They avoided the consumption of milk and dairy products and did not put oil on the hair throughout the month. The use of harsh words is strictly forbidden by them. Ritual bath in the early morning as part of the ritual of meditation.

Mattu Pongal is celebrated and why?

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva once asked Basavana (the bull) to visit the earth and tell the man to rub oil and bathe every day. But, Basava (grass) declared that you should eat daily and take an oil bath once a month.

This angered Lord Shiva, and he cursed the pasava (bull) to live forever on earth and said to plow the pasava (bull) fields and help the people to produce more food. Therefore, after the harvest people celebrate this festival with crops and livestock.

Importance of Mattu Pongal

It is basically a harvest festival or it can be considered as a ‘Thanksgiving’ festival because this festival is celebrated to give thanks to the sun god and Indra for helping the farmers to get the best yielding crops. During the festival, people discard old items and welcome new ones.

We know that India is an agricultural country and most of the festivals are towards nature. Like another festival, Mattu Pongal is also referred to as the Uttarayan Shrine, which is of special significance and considered very sacred in Hindu mythology.

Why Mattu Pongal is celebrated?

The month of Tai is the season when good seeds are sown and harvested in the month of August, which is the season when they can grow and reach their full fruits, that is, the harvest season. In order to worship the nature that helped the crops to grow, that is, the sun, Varuna, the harvest of the Buddha, jaggery, milk, ghee is added to the new pot and the sun is created on the most noble day.

The word ‘Mattu Pongal’ is derived from Tamil literature, which means ‘to boil’. It is an ancient festival of South India, especially of Tamils. It is basically a harvest festival, which is celebrated for four days in Tamil Nadu during the months of January-February (Thai) during sunrise after harvesting crops like rice, sugarcane and turmeric.

Each day is marked by different festivals- the first day is called the Bogi Festival; The second day is called Thai Mattu Pongal. The third day is called Mattu Mattu Pongal; The fourth day is called Kanam Mattu Pongal.

 

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