STORY: Students and teachers of a medical college in India’s southern Chennai city were seen taking part in pre-pongal (harvest festival) celebrations on Thursday (January 10).
Pongal, the harvest festival widely celebrated throughout the southern state of Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring areas. Pre-Pongal celebrations usually begin early in educational institutions and offices before their closing for the main festival.
Students performed traditional dances including Karakattam (ancient folk dance) and Silambattam (weapon based martial arts) with fire. Pyro stunts by two girls were the star attraction of the celebrations. Students were also seen enjoying traditional delicacies which included sugarcane, corn on the cob, cotton candy and crushed ice lollies.
“Almost 3,000 girls wear traditional outfits, while the college is setup to be like a village,” said a student, Sajana. “You will have bullock-cart ride and you will have games for people to enjoy and much more,” Sajana added.
Celebration of the harvest season in Tamil Nadu is an elaborate affair that lasts for four days. The first day known as ‘Bhogi Pongal’ is when old clothes and materials of no utility value are destroyed.
The Second day is the main ‘Pongal’, dedicated to good harvest. The third ‘Pongal’ is the ‘Maatu Pongal’ which is followed by ‘Kaanum Pongal’, social interaction of visiting dear and near ones.