Surya Pongal


The second day is called Surya Pongal and is dedicated to Surya (sun god). It is the day on which the celebration actually begins and is also the first day of the Tamil month Thai.

  • Every member of the family gets up early in the morning, bathes, puts on new clothes and gathers to cook the traditional pongal. Women wake early on this day to create elaborate kolam on the grounds in front of their doorway or home.

  • On this day the new rice is collected and cooked in pots until they overflow. It is this overflowing which means Pongal. This overflowing of rice is a joyous occasion, and the children and adults as well will shout out 'Pongal-o Pongal!'

  • The pot, in which the Pongal is cooked, is decorated with flowers, sugarcane pieces, turmeric plant, etc. The first offering is made to the Sun.

  • The Sun God is offered boiled milk and jaggery on a plank placed on the ground. In the centre of the plank is drawn a large figure of the Sun God with his effulgent rays.

  • The "Puja" of the Sun God starts after the auspicious moment of the birth of the new month Thai. Prayers are rendered to the Sun God to seek his benedictions. Sweets, puddings, cooked rice or 'Sarkarai Pongal' are prepared on this day.

  • The Sun God is given pride of place during Pongal. In the villages, people gather in the courtyard and prepare the Pongal in the open. The first offering is made to the Sun.

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Delicacies

  • The rice is cooked and prepared as a dish called Pongal, which is rice with dhal and sugar. This Pongal variety is called venpongal, ven meaning white.

  • Another variety is also prepared with dhal and jaggery (sweet), called chakra1pongal, chakrai meaning sweet. To accompany the venpongal, people eat brinjal (eggplant) sambar (stew), vadai, idli, and spicy accompaniments.

  • Sweets, puddings, cooked rice or 'Sarkarai Pongal' are prepared on this day. On all the three days of Bhogi, Pongal and Maattu Pongal, women adorn the entrance of their houses with colorful kolams. Large patterns, decorated with colorful flowers and powders are drawn, crowding the entire street.

Surya Pongal
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