Pongal is a harvest and thanksgiving festival primarily celebrated in Southern India among Tamil communities. It marks the transition to springtime after the winter solstice. Observance of the festival centers around a traditional dish also known as pongal, which is made with (newly harvested) rice that’s boiled with milk and a kind of sugar called jaggery. Pongal is sometimes called Thai Pongal, though that is also used to refer to one of the days of the festival. (The word Thai in Thai Pongal is the name of the Tamil calendar month in which Pongal takes place. It’s also spelled Tai.) A similar festival called Lohri is celebrated in Northern India. Other festivals that take place in India at the same time and also celebrate the harvest and the transition to springtime are called Makar Sankranti or Uttarayan (though these are often considered separate observances). Pongal is a thanksgiving festival, involving offerings to the rain god Indra, to the sun, and to cattle. ⚡️When is Pongal?Pongal begins in mid-January. In 2022, it will begin on January 14. The length of the festival varies by community, but it’s often three or four days.

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