Pongal Festival

In Tamil Nadu, India, Pongal is a festival, which, according to the Tamil calendar, is normally celebrated from January 14 to January 17.

The four day festival includes Bhogi Pongal, the first day when people get up early in the morning and light sacred bonfires. Children dance around Bhogi singing songs in praise of god. The second day is Thai Pongal, which aligns with Makara Sankranthi, the harvest festival celebrated throughout India when people thank the Sun God. The third day is Mattu Pongal, which is dedicated to cattle. People offer prayers to the bulls, cows, and other farm animals. The fourth and final day is Kaanum Pongal, a day of re-uniting with friends and families when young people seek the blessings of elders.

Here are some photos taken of Hope Center children participating in Pongal festivities during previous years: