Pongal celebrated in TN, 30 injured in Jallikattu

Avaniapuram Jallikattu
Visuals: Youngsters try to tame bulls at the Avaniapuram #Jallikattu

Chennai, Jan 15 : About 30 persons were injured in the bull taming sport of Jallikattu that was held in Madurai district in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday, according to reports.

The traditional Jallikattu is part of the Pongal festival celebrations in the state.

Jallikattu was held in Avaniyapuram in Madurai in which about 700 bulls and about 730 bull tamers participated.

A bull tamer has to hang on the bull’s hump for some minutes in order to claim the prize that ranges between gold and silver coins, household articles, and consumer durables.

Meanwhile Tamil Nadu celebrated harvest Pongal festival thanking the rain and sun gods and farm animals on the first day of Tamil month of Thai.

Across the state people got up early, put on new clothes and offered special prayers at temples.

At homes at the auspicious time children beating a small drum shouted ‘Pongolo Pongal’, ‘Pongolo Pongal’ when the milk started boiling over the pot as a part of preparing ‘Chakarai Pongal’ the special dish of the festival.

In some homes conches are blown prior to the formal offering.

When the milk boils over, other ingredients – rice, jaggery, Bengal gram – are added to the milk and finally ghee fried cashews, almonds and cardamom are also added. The pleasant aroma filled the homes making people salivate for the dish.

The mud pot or stainless steel in which the dish is cooked is decorated by tying up ginger, turmeric, sugarcane pieces and banana at the neck.

The Pongal dish is offered to the sun god as thanksgiving and eaten as ‘prasad’. People exchanged greetings and Chakarai Pongal with their neighbours.

The Pongal festivities take place over four days, the first day being Bhogi, which was on Tuesday, when people burn their old clothes, mats and other items. Homes are painted afresh.

The second day is the main Pongal festival celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Thai.

The third day is the Mattu Pongal when bulls and cows are bathed and their horns painted and worshipped as they play an important role in farms.

Women feed the birds with coloured rice and pray for the welfare of their brothers.

The fourth day is the Kannum Pongal – the day to go out and meet relatives and friends, and go sightseeing.

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