Pongal Sunday, January 15 (Restricted Holiday) 2023
Pongal is a traditional Hindu festival that is celebrated in South India, particularly in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. It is a four-day festival that is celebrated every year on the 15th of January and is a public holiday in these states. This year, Pongal falls on a Sunday, which is a restricted holiday.
What is Pongal?
Pongal is a harvest festival that is celebrated to thank the sun god, Surya, for providing the warmth and light necessary for the growth of crops. It is also a time to celebrate the abundance of the harvest and to pay tribute to the hard work of farmers.
Pongal celebrations involve many traditional rituals and customs, such as the preparation of sweet dishes made from rice and milk, and the decorating of homes with colorful rangolis (patterns made with colored powder). It is also a time for people to come together with their families and friends to participate in various activities, such as sports and games.
Why is Pongal celebrated on January 15?
Pongal is celebrated on the 15th of January every year because it marks the start of the sun’s six-month long journey northwards, known as the Uttarayan. This is a significant event in the Hindu calendar as it marks the end of the winter solstice and the beginning of longer days and shorter nights.
What is a restricted holiday?
A restricted holiday is a holiday that is not a public holiday for all employees. It is a holiday that is only applicable to certain employees, such as those who work in specific industries or organizations. In the case of Pongal, it is a public holiday in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, but it is only a restricted holiday for employees in other states.
How is Pongal celebrated?
Pongal celebrations involve a variety of traditional rituals and customs, such as the preparation of sweet dishes made from rice and milk, and the decorating of homes with colorful rangolis. Other activities include the participation in sports and games, and the exchange of gifts and sweets with family and friends.
One of the most important rituals of Pongal is the boiling of the first harvest of rice in a clay pot. This is known as “Pongal,” which is where the festival gets its name. The pot is decorated with flowers and turmeric, and the boiling of the rice is considered a symbol of prosperity and abundance. The cooked rice is then offered as a sacrifice to the gods and distributed among family and friends as a sign of sharing and unity.