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Pongal festival is celebrated in January. It is celebrated to pay tribute to the Sun God, as well as nature and cattle and it marks the harvesting of crops and is observed in Madurai for three days.
sample image The first day of the festival, which is called Bogi, is marked by lots of festivities. On this day, the people of the city paint their homes, remove old items and decorate with new ornaments. On the second day of the festival, known as Pongal, festoons of mango leaves adorn the houses while the city takes part in the festivities. On the third day, known as Mattu Pongal, the inhabitants of the city pay tribute to the cattle.
Bogi is associated with the legend of Lord Indra and Lord Krishna. It is said that in order to teach Lord Indra a lesson, Lord Krishna persuaded his friends to worship Mount Govardhan, instead of Lord Indra. This angered Lord Indra, who sent rain and flood. Lord Krishna lifted the mount on his little finger and so saved the people from heavy rainfall.
Pongal recipes form an integral part of the festivities. Ven Pongal, Chackra Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal, Rice Pongal, Rava Pongal and Khara Pongal are some of the principle recipes prepared during this time. Other dishes that are prepared during Pongal are soft idlis, pineapple rasam, paper dosai, boonda, rajma curry, rice and green gram dhal pongal, milk payasam and bread idli.
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