Chennai: Tamil Nadu celebrated the harvest festival of ‘Pongal’ with great zeal and fervour on Saturday, with people preparing traditional food and offering prayers to the Sun God.
The streets in both rural and urban areas of the state were decked up with drawings made of flour (called ‘Kolam’ in Tamil).
People decorated their homes with mango leaves and strings of flowers. Special prayers were held at temples. Sweet rice (pongal), made of jaggery with rice and milk, in a traditional mud pot, was offered to the Sun God along with pieces of sugarcanes.
The food is shared with relatives and neighbours after being offered to the Sun God.
Since the Supreme Court has banned the popular bull-taming sport of ‘Jallikattu’, normally conducted on ‘Mattu’ (cow) Pongal (third day of Pongal festivities), the festival is expected to be a low-key affair in Madurai and its neighbouring districts.
For ‘Kannum Pongal’ festival on Monday, security has been strengthened at several places including Marina beach here, where people throng in large numbers.
Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala and DMK working president M K Stalin and other leaders extended their greetings on the occasion of Pongal.
The festival falls on the first day of Tamil month ‘Thai’, considered as the precursor of hope.