As promised, here I am with a whole lot of pictures and all about pongal.
What is a better way than to post a picture of Vaishnavi, my daughter. She just loves to wear a salwar kameez, and definitely with a dupatta!!!
My mother-in-law is here to celebrate pongal with us this time. With Mohan (my husband) in the US on an assignment for a few months, her visit is a refreshing change for Vaishnavi and me. Hope she has an equally good time with us, before she gets back to her routine.
Below here is the sweet pongal that she made for us, and it definitely was as yumm as it looks. This is a sweet dish prepared with rice and jaggery.
Now to tell you about the actualy festival and its significance, here I go!!! Pongal is very popular in the southern part of India. It is called Sankranthi in some of the states.
The festival is split into 3 days:
Day 1 - Called Bogi. The significance is to get rid of all old stuff and bring in new things. People generally give away/burn old things on this day. But the actual significance is to get rid of all our old negative feelings and bring in new fresh positive feelings in our lives.
Day 2 - Pongal. This is for us to start afresh. Some states even consider this day as the beginning of their new year.
Day 3 - Maattu (cow) pongal. The cow is the celebrity on this day. This day, we offer our salutations to the cow. In India, the cow is considered as Goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth). So, we offer pooja to the cow. Though, in urban Indian homes, there are no cows these days, in homes that do have a cow, this day is very special. Also, on this 3rd day, we pray for the well-being of our siblings, especially brothers.
On all days of Pongal the houses are decorated with elaborate Kolams, also known as rangolis. There are even grand rangoli contests held during this time of the year. Here is the kolam that donned our apartment.
This specific kolam symbolizes the festival of pongal, with 4 pot on each corner, and sugar cane in between. The actual tradition is to wake up at about 4am and put the kolam outside our house. But now, we (modern Indians) have modified this slightly to our convenience, and do this the previous night. Imagine waking up at 4am!!! So, most of our apartment was up till about midnight on the 13th night, putting kolams outside their flats. Keeping Vaishnavi away from the kolam was a great task. She was at her "helpful" best, handing out the color powders to me. I was almost shrieking in the middle of the night, out of fear that she might drop some of the color all over my kolam!!! Just imagine, all the effort down the drain!!! Finally, I was forced to allow her to try her hand at it. I just allotted a space to her where she could draw her kolam. Thankfully, MIL was engaging her with it!!!
So, that's allll about pongal. I did manage to do some peacock in between. But the progress is too little to show. While I was stitching, Vaishnavi suddenly decided to be at her naughtiest best!! She just ran away with one of my green strands!!! I was at my wits' end. So, just wrapped it up!!
Hope to update you with some significant progress on my peacock this weekend.