Tamil Nadu: Pongal is a four-day festival that is observed in Tamil Nadu. Bhogi is the first day, then Thai Pongal, Mattu Pongal, and Kaanum Pongal. The festival of Mattu Pongal is observed on January 16, 2023. On Mattu Pongal, cows and bulls are worshiped because they are important in agriculture and because Mattu means “bull” in Tamil. The Tamil words “Pongal” and “Mattu” literally mean “bull” and “boiling over,” respectively, which are metaphors for success and abundance. The day following Surya Pongal, the primary day of Pongal, when Surya Dev (the Sun) is revered, is when the Mattu Pongal celebration, also known as Cow Pongal, is held. The first day of the Tamil month Thai also marks the Tamil New Year. Bulls and cows are decorated, worshipped, ceremoniously fed “Sakkarai Pongal,” and acknowledged for their assistance in the crop-production process on Mattu Pongal.
Mattu Pongal 2023: Date
This year Mattu Pongal is being celebrated on 16 January (Today).
Mattu Pongal Significance
The Mattu Pongal festival is a time of joy and celebration, and people greet each other with greetings for the festival. Farmers and villagers give their bulls and cows baths and then decorate them by coloring or adding metal tips to their horns. The cattle are ornamented with colored bead necklaces, flower garlands, and bells that are strung on their necks. Villagers decorate their homes and the neighborhood’s streets with vibrant Kolam (Rangoli) paintings of bulls, cows, and other Mattu Pongal patterns to add to the celebration. Mattu Pongal is not only a day to honor livestock, but it also holds special meaning for siblings. Sisters feed crows as a kind of prayer for the safety of their brothers. Pongal (both Ven Pongal and Chakkarai Pongal) and cooked rice combined with turmeric and kumkum are made into little balls. These rice balls are then served to the crows while being maintained on turmeric leaves.
Mattu Pongal: History
A fascinating story is related to Mattu Pongal. Lord Shiva once dispatched his vahana (mountain), Nandi, to the ground to deliver a crucial message. Nandi was instructed by Lord Shiva to inform everyone on Earth to take an oil bath every day and eat only once every month. But Nandi took the opposite action. Nandi continued by advising people to eat every day and take oil baths every month. Nandi’s error infuriated Lord Shiva, who commanded him to stay with the people and assist them in growing the food they would need to survive on a daily basis.