In Tamil Nadu, Pongal is a four-day celebration that honours Mattu on the third day (Ox, cow and other domesticated animals). The 16th of January in 2023 will be Mattu Pongal. In modern-day Tamil Nadu and the rest of India, Maatu Pongal is well known as the occasion for the bullfighting events Jallikattu and Manji Virattu.
Mattu Pongal is a celebration honouring the cattle that produce milk, organic manure, and the power to pull the plough. Domesticated animals such as ox, cows, and goats play a significant role in India’s rural economy.
Maatu Pongal Date in 2023
Monday, 16 January, 2023
On this day, cattle are worshipped and honoured at home with treats and meals. On this day, houses that own cows or oxen wash them well and decorate them with colourful ropes, bells, and shawls. Horns are painted and given a high gloss finish. Herds of cattle are driven to the shrine. The cattle are blessed with a Mangala arati.
Mattu Pongal Rituals and Celebrations
- On Maatu Pongal, locals decorate their lawns with brightly coloured bulls and cows.
- The horns of cows and oxen are painted with brilliant colors, and the animals are given baths. Flower garlands, jingling bells, and strings of beads dangle from their necks.
- Cattle herders know that a mixture of turmeric water and mango leaves helps keep cattle healthy and protects them from harm.
- Both Lord Krishna and Lord Indra are prayed to in order to ensure the safety of one’s livestock.
- First, the raw rice, lentils, jaggery (cane sugar), and dried fruits that go into the “Sakkarai Pongal” dessert are given to the animals as an offering, and only then are they given out as Prasad to the worshippers.
- On this day, young people in the villages compete in a sport known as “Manjuvirattu” or “Jallikattu,” in which they attempt to tame ferocious bulls in exchange for the cash prizes tied to their horns. It is traditionally held either on the evening of Maatu Pongal or the morning of Kaanum Pongal.
Significance of Mattu Pongal
Cows provide wholesome and nourishing milk, and bulls help in ploughing the agricultural fields, hence they are held in very high esteem and are considered very precious in India. As a result, the focus shifts to the cattle on the second day of the Pongal festival.
Lord Shiva and his sacred bull Nandi are commemorated on this day in their tale. On this day, young people in the villages compete in a famous bull-taming sport known as “Manjuvirattu” or “Jallikattu” for the chance to win rewards. This is a brutal activity, but it has been practised in rural areas for two thousand years, making it an integral part of the local culture.
1. Which flowers are used in Pongal?
Ans – The midwinter timing of the celebration means that local winter blooms are ideal for decorating and offering spiritual support. Strings of mountain grass (Koorapoo) or Senna flowers (avarampoo) are tied to the Pongal pot’s handle, and people also decorate their homes with these flowers.
2. What are 21 items of Pongal gift?
Ans – Raw rice, jaggery, cashew, resin, cardamom, moong dhal, ghee, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander, mustard, cumin, pepper, tamarind, Bengal gram, urad dhal, Rava, wheat flour, salt are the 20 essential commodities packed in the cloth bag in addition to sugarcane.
3. What is the main dish of Pongal?
Ans – Rice and mung lentils cooked in sugar and scented with cardamom and dried fruits. Pongal, or sakkarai Pongal in Tamil, is a sweet meal traditionally prepared in southern India for special occasions. Recipe for a nutritious breakfast Pongal dish with Rava and moong dal.
4. Which place is famous for jallikattu?
Ans – In the Paalamedu neighbourhood of Madurai in Tamil Nadu, 700 bulls and 300 bull tamers begin the annual Jallikattu festival. As authored by Pramod Madhav: 700 bulls and 300 bull tamers gather in the Paalamedu neighbourhood of Madurai, Tamil Nadu, for the start of the world-famous Jallikattu.