In South India, schools and offices are closed for at least four days. On the first day or “Bhogi” (which was yesterday), people create a bonfire and burn or throw away all their old stuff, signifying the start of a new life. What I do is gather stuff I want to donate and give it to those who need it.
On the second day, which is today, we make “Pongal” which is rice and lentils cooked in milk and then prepared as two dishes – sweet rice and rice garnished with salt, pepper, curry leaves and ghee. Traditionally, this rice is cooked in a pot over an open fire and when it boils over, everyone says “Pongalo-Pongal” joyously! I cook in a pressure cooker 🙂 and when it whistles, I say Pongalo-Pongal. We also make vadas I did – but didn’t take photos of those. :-). Tomorrow, the third day, we offer thanks to the cows and buffaloes, which plough the land. Fitting, because Pongal is a harvest festival. On the last day, it is fun time. In Madurai, Trichy and Tanjore, they have an event called “JalliKattu” where they tie bundles of money to the horns of the festival bulls – and villagers try to retrieve them.
Some of today’s “pongal” will be kept overnight and tomorrow morning, I’ll be up early to perform a wedding between the crow and the sparrow. Tradition. I’ll have curd rice, pongal, sweet pongal, fruits and sugarcane – and place bite sized amounts on a leaf, go to my terrace and leave it there for the crows to eat. Why this tradition? I think they meant that everyone should live harmoniously without differences – and hence the marriage between the crow and sparrow. 🙂 I love it!
So, had a busy morning and here are some not so great photos of today:
|The Sun God Surya reigns over this harvest festival, naturally!|
|Flowers – roses, jasmine, tulsi, marigold…|
|This is the Rangoli – design done at the entrance of the home or in the prayer room to invite God 🙂|
|Roasting the rice and lentils for the Pongal before pressure cooking it in milk in the cooker|
|My Rangoli-in-a-hurry outside our home at the threshold|
|More Rangoli designs for you to feast your eyes on|
And here is where we went shopping yesterday to buy our flowers. Prices were sky-high, of course, but can’t help that. It is only during festivals that these people actually make a profit. And they work so hard.
|Malleswaram is where people from all over Bangalore visit to do their shopping. You get everything here. Everything! The women flower vendors are amazing business-women!|
Picture courtesy wanderingeducators.com
Soon I’ll get some photos of our market. I love going there.
And now, off to the lovely Unknown Mami’s to see her city, and more travel from there!
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