Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Photo by Wikimedia Common

This year, Pongal will be celebrated with great zeal and zest from January 14 to January 17.

Pongal is a four-day festival of harvest celebrated in South India, especially Tamil Nadu. This year, Pongal will be celebrated with great zeal and zest from January 14 to January 17.

Interestingly, Pongal marks the beginning of Uttarayan, which is the sun's journey towards north, leading to the end of winter season. It must be noted that Pongal is celebrated just like other harvest festivals of India namely Lohri, Makar Sankranti, and Magh Bihu.

History of Pongal

It is believed that Pongal was celebrated for the first time during Sangam age (200BC-200AD), and at the same time, the festival also found its mention in the puranas. According to one of the stories, it is believed that the festival of Pongal is associated with Lord Shiva. There is a story which says that Lord Shiva had a bull named Basava, who he sent on earth to spread the message that humans must oil massage and bath every day and eat only once in a month. But, Basava told the humans to do the opposite. He told humans to eat every day and do oil massage and bath only once a month. When Lord Shiva got to know about this, he punished Basava by sending him on earth to help humans by ploughing their field and meet their daily food requirements. Because of the same reason, cattle came to be associated with Pongal.

Day-wise celebration of Pongal

On the first day of Pongal, known as ‘Bhogi Pongal’, celebrations begin as fresh harvest of rice, sugarcane, and turmeric is brought from the fields. On this day, old and useless domestic articles are discarded and are burnt along with cow dungs. This is a ritual of Bhogi Mantalu and signifies new beginnings.

On the second day of Pongal, known as ‘Surya Pongal’, is dedicated to the Sun God. This day focuses on cleaning and decoration of homes. Women usually wake up early in the morning to prepare for the day. Houses are decorated with beautiful kolam designs. Freshly harvested rice is used to make dessert with jaggery and milk. They are boiled to the point that they come out of the pot. This dessert is then offered to the Surya Dev before it is eaten by the family members on green banana leaves.

Pongal The freshly harvested rice is boiled in pots along with milk and jaggery till they overflow and spill.Photo by Pixabay

On the third day of Pongal, known as ‘Mattu Pongal’, Lord Ganesha and Parvati are worshipped. The word ‘mattu’ means ‘bull’, and on this day, cattle are bathed, and their horns are painted and covered with shining metal caps.

The fourth and the final day of Pongal is called ‘Kaanum Pongal’. This day is also considered as an auspicious day to start new bonds and relationships. Pongal officially concludes on this day.

Pongal is celebrated with full enthusiasm in India, especially in South India. This day marks the end of winter solstice and the outset of new beginnings!

Here’s to wishing everyone a Happy Pongal!

(Keywords: Pongal, Celebration, India, South India, History, Significance, New Beginnings, Tamil Nadu)


The New Indian Express/wikipedia

Named SEE-1, the module is intended to host films, etc in the low orbit, micro-gravity environment.

S.E.E. has unveiled plans to build a space station module that contains a sports and entertainment arena as well as a content studio by December 2024, reports

Named SEE-1, the module is intended to host films, television, music and sports events as well as artists, producers and creatives who want to make content in the low orbit, micro-gravity environment. The facilities will enable development, production, recording, broadcasting and livestreaming of content.

Also read: Kings Of Leon Become First Band To Have NFT

S.E.E. intend to produce its own content and events in the module as well as making it available to third-parties. Axiom Space, who in January 2022 won NASA's approval to build a commercial component of the International Space Station (ISS), will undertake the construction of SEE-1. The module will dock on Axiom's commercial arm, named Axiom Station, which will also host other commercial ventures, including space tourism.

Keep Reading Show less

As the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic.

By Rohit Vaid
The Centre might bestow infrastructure as well as industry status to new sectors to boost several pandemic hit industries in the upcoming Union Budget. Industry insiders said that several sectors and sub-industries such as hospitality, automobile retail, specific diganotics facilities and companies engaged in installation of EV charging stations amongst others might get the status.
The infra tag will enable these sectors to avail tax breaks, incentives and credit on lower interest rates. "Sectors which are in greenfield or which would need capex augmentation to help them overcome the pandemic can be looked from the lens of an infrastructure sector," said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader, Transport & Logistics, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory. "Also many of the already identified sectors need a sustained policy push which will help them get visibility both in terms of quantum and the time period of applicability."

Till now, activities associated with laying of power and telecom transmission and distribution lines, roads, highways, railways and construction of facilities such as hospitals, affordable housing, power generation units, water treatment plants, SEZs and certain type of hotels amongst others were given such status.

Besides, these sectors are a part of harmonised master list for infrastructure sub-sectors. However, in April 2021, exhibition-cum-convention centre was included in the list. "Given the focus around electric vehicle, and need for significant investment in charging stations, if the government adds the sector in infrastructure list, the benefits arising out of it will be significant," said Vishal Kotecha, Director, India Ratings and Research. "Infra tag on sectors increases ability to raise funds, access to dedicated funds and lenders, foreign capital, lower interest rates among others."

Electric car Given the focus on electric vehicles, the advantages of including the industry in the infrastructure list will be enormous. Free SVG

Keep Reading Show less

A team is working to produce safest medicine for covid treatment.

A team led by chief scientist Ravi Shankar, is working on two combinations to provide the safest medication to coronavirus patients. "Experts say that a combination of antivirals with different mechanisms can be more effective to counter the viral pandemic. We are working on two combinations - Umifenovir with Molnupiravir (an antiviral) and Umifenovir with Niclosamide (anti-parasitic)," he said.

Also read: Antiviral Remdesivir Receives FDA

Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India and abroad. Though its usage showed reduced hospitalisation during clinical trials, its biggest drawback are the side-effects, he added.

"Now, we are trying to keep a low dosage of Molnupiravir in its combination with Umifenovir which may weed out the side-effects such as the risk of cartilage and muscle damage. If successful, it will make Umifenovir more effective in Covid-19 treatment," said the chief scientist. The other combination is Umifenovir with Niclosamide.

Keep reading... Show less