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Pongal 2010 is on January 14, Thursday.

Pongal falls in the mid-January every year and is one of the most popular harvest festival of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu.The astronomical significance of the festival marks the auspicious beginning of the sun's journey northwards for six months called the Uttarayan. Lasting a total of four days , the festival involves celebrations that include drawing of Kolam, swinging & cooking of delicious Pongal.

Apart from Tamil Nadu, the festival of Pongal is also celebrated by the Tamils worlwide including those in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore. This festival is thought to be as old as 5,000 years

It also coincides with the bonfire and harvest festival in Punjab and Haryana called Lohri.Pongal festival is celebrated by people of all religion in India.

Bhogi is the first day of the festival. It is celebrated by setting old clothes and materials on fire. This is to mark the end of an old Thai and at the same time also the emergence of the new Thai.

Pongal is the main day and is the second day of the festival.It falls on the first day of the tamil month of thai which is on the Jan 14-15. A dish made by boiling rice with fresh milk and jaggery in a new pot is one of the main event on the second day. This is alo known as Veetu Pongal. The dish is also topped with brown sugar, cashew nuts and raisins which are added early in the morning to allow them to boil over the vessel.

The third day marks the offerings to the cattle as they help the farmers in many different ways.This day is known as Mattu Pongal. The fourth and the final day is when people relax and have a good time by going to the beaches and theme parks. This day is called Kaanum pongal.

Amisha Patel
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