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Pongal is an important festivals for Tamils that signifies the end of the harvest season and the ushering in of the Tamil month of 'Thai', bringing in prosperity and happiness. The Pongal celebrations are spread over four days. The day before Pongal is called Bhogi. It is celebrated as a family festival. Surya Pongal, the second day, is dedicated to the worship of Surya, the Sun God. On the third day called Maatu Ponga, the cattle are colourfully decorated with flowers. The valour of the Tamils is best illustrated in events like Jallikattu or Manjuviratt in which the youth who control the fearsome bulls are honoured and given prizes.

On the fourth day, sisters visit their brothers and enquire about their welfare. During Pongal hundreds of temples all over Tamil Nadu arrange for Sama Bandhi Virundu (community feasts) in which people from all castes and religions participate.



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