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Jan 14, 2012

Harvest festival - walking down with my good old memories

The oncoming harvest festival has brought me back the memories of the celebrations of my good old chennai life.

The state gears up a week before the festival day with everyone doing a special cleaning episode in their house smiley smileysmiley windows , discarding the unwanted old things (the practice actually meant giving away all bad things in our life and grasp good ones and also those days artisans and potters earned (Still so) their livelihood and this festival is just to help those economically backward people), some paint their house new.The entire market place will be so congested and crowded with loads and loads of sugarcane bunches, turmeric plant, small plaintain saplings dumped here and there, the damaru for bogi, children with their fathers busy buying things for celebrating this harvest festival in their own city dweller way.

Making the pongal in cooker or in a vessel on gas stove, presenting it virtually to the sun god as many appartment dwellers don;t have the opportunity to see the sun from their window.

Pongal Prashad for you........ sweet and salt pongal (Pongal 2015)


When I was in high school, one pongal day it was very cloudy and we could not see the Sun God, immediately I drew the sun God picture in his chariot drawn by 7 horses with the sarathi Aruna and that pongal we offered to the God in the picture and I preserved it till now and take him out once in a year for the pooja on this special day of 'sankaranthi'/Pongal.

The poor cows which are exploited by the local milk men & the bulls .....which have only bones & skin left.. undernourished.... will get a nice breakfast reward (only?) on the maatu pongal day as the day is for worshipping cows & bulls which helps the mankind toiling & troubling themselves. (See how clever our ancestors are! they predicted everyting and brought these practice in our culture!) These poor animals sees green grass mainly on this day (other days they have lots of film posters to chew & scavenge on the garbage as they are let loose to find their own food on the streets....)

whether people speak tamizh language or not, they still celebrate the 'tamizhar tirunal' festival with zest...whatever it is celebration mood catch up everyone with the added holidays declared by Tamil Nadu Government irrespective of the caste or creed.

In some villages, the conduct the famous bull fights called 'jallikattu' where the ferocious bulls are let loose in the arena and the brave men try to hold control of them. In the process, the bulls as well as the men folks undergo trouble & many men get killed or seriously injured.

The island ground holds exibhition..... the giant wheel and the focus lights draws people's attention towards them. Various stalls housing attractive things and some stalls have some recreations for the visitors by showing them magic shows, shooting the balloon, throwing the ring and claiming the prize, etc. The papads, cotton candy & eatables and toy items, rides etc are the centre of attraction. .. I miss them all now...but the memories are so sweet when I rewind them, which is still evergreen in me.

As per our tradition, the kaanum pongal day, early morning we keep 'kanu padi' - to feed the crows, curd rice with some pongal specialities is made into balls and placed on a leaf of the turmeric plant, then placed in the terrace & invite the attentions of the crows (by cawing like them!) and pray for the loving bond between the family members like the crow family (?!) [another ritual to please the crow, which is normally shooed away during 'vadam' season?!!!] visits the relatives & get the blessings from the elders.

This harvest festival is celebrated through out India from east to west, from north to south.....under various names "sankaranti" , "Lohri " , "Bihu"

So let us all join & Celebrate the festival paying our respect & honours to the Sun God, Rain God, The back bone of our country - The Farmer , the Cows & Bullocks and worship the nature in a pollutionless way.

Wish you all a happy Pongal / Baisakhi / Sankaranti / Bihu festival.


Presenting you the ghee white pongal (venpongal)  hot from the stove top.

6 comments:

angelin said...

thanks for sharing the lovely memories of pongal .the highlight is going to trade fare ....i miss my childhood .

Mahi said...

பொங்கல் வாழ்த்துக்கள் மீரா! இனிமையான நினைவுகள்..நீங்க வரைந்த சூரியன் படத்தையும் போட்டிருக்கலாமே?? பாம்பே பொங்கலையும் காட்டியிருக்கலாம்!:)

Mira said...

THanks for joining me Angelin. Happy pongal to you too.

Mahi, thank you for joining me. Hope you had a great pongal. I have posted the picture already in painting section. Will add a link to that post here :-)

Usha Srikumar said...

With this Pongal post,you have taken me too down the memory lane,Mira.
Even I remember the exhibitions-with cotton candy,giant wheel ride etc.
Happy memories.

Mira said...

Thank you so much Usha ma for joining me. Very glad to know that you enjoyed them very much like me.

Lakshmi R. Srinivasan said...

This comes too late! Yet I enjoyed reading about your childhood memories!

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