Festivity marks Pongal celebrations in TN, Puducherry
Chennai: The harvest festival of Pongal was celebrated with traditional fervour across Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry on Wednesday with the celebrations also marking the onset of the Tamil month of 'Thai' seen as a harbinger of good times.
People celebrated the festival by donning new clothes and preparing the sweet rice of 'pongal,' in the 'pongal panai,' (pongal pot), bought sugarcane and offered prayers amid traditional chants of 'Pongal-o-Pongal' that symbolised growth and prosperity.
People used new earthen pots to prepare the pongal and the markets everywhere bustled with people buying sugarcane, frutis and flowers.
The entrances to houses were decked up with mango leaves and garlands that are considered auspicious. Temples conducted special prayers.
Revelry marked the festival with the conduct of jallikattu (bull taming sport) at Avaniapuram in Madurai and new Tamil flicks including Dhanush starrer 'Pattas,' released today.
The AIADMK-led government in the state distributed Rs 1,000 cash, and gift hampers containing raw rice, sugar, raisins, cashew nut, cardamom and sugarcane to all cardholders to use the ingredients in the preparation of 'Pongal'.
President Ramnath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and DMK president and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin were among the leaders who greeted the people.
In Puducherry, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Ministers, and leaders of various political parties greeted people on the occasion of the festival.