Kaanum Pongal

Kaanum Pongal, which falls on the same day as Maatu Pongal, is celebrated by sisters for the welfare of their brothers. All the women, young and old, of the house, assemble in the courtyard. The rice is placed in the center of the leaf, while the women ask that the house and family of their brothers should prosper. Arati is performed for the brothers with turmeric water, limestone and rice, and this water is sprinkled on the kolam in front of the house.

  • In few places this day is also known as Karinaal or Thiruvalluvar Day. This day is dedicated to the sun god, Surya and has its roots in ancient Brahminical tradition.

  • Since Pongal is a rural, agrarian based festival that celebrates the harvests, the sun is a vital part of the proceedings. This is because the Sun is the symbol of life on Earth.

  • Kaanum Pongal is marked by, elaborate powdered chalk designs of the sun god, Surya. Sheaves of sugarcane dot the prayer area.

  • Freshly cooked food including the typical sweet dish 'Sarkarai pongal' is first offered to Surya. Sugarcane that is offered is symbolic for sweetness and happiness in life.

  • Sugarcane stalks and coconut- both auspicious symbols of plenty- are also offered to the Gods in propitiation of a plentiful harvest in the forthcoming year.


  • On this day, people travel to see other family members and the younger members of the family pay homage to the elders, and the elders thank them by giving token money.

  • Many leave food out on banana leaves for birds to take. Some also go to temple to worship and thank God for all good things that are bestowed on them.