Pongal is a major annual harvest festival in Tamil Nadu. But, it’s not only about the harvest. Lasting for four days in January or February, it includes dancing, a bull taming contest, and exchanging gifts. Colleges and schools remain closed for all four days of Pongal as well as businesses related to agriculture.
On the first day of the festival, people burn and get rid of old household stuff, purchasing new items. Moreover, people throw all things of nought into a giant traditional bonfire made of cow dung cakes and wood.
The second day of Pongal is most important. Many people worship Lord Surya, the sun god, and they offer him prayers, sticks of sugarcane, bananas, and coconuts. A particular ritual takes place on this day, and it is a special offer to the sun lord: an earthen pot tied with a turmeric plant and full of rice and milk is boiled together. During the day people wear new beautiful clothes. Women decorate their houses with red clay and rice flour.
It's no secret the cow in India is a sacred animal, so the third day of Pongal is celebrated in the name of cows. It is widely believed that cattle help achieve a good harvest, so cows are garnished with garlands, bells, sheaves of corn, and worshipped.
The fourth day marks the last day of Pongal. The ritual of this day is that the women set out leftovers of festive food on a washed turmeric leaf in the name of their brothers and ask them for prosperity. Many people go for a picnic and spend time with their families and friends.