Everything You Need to Know About Pongal(2019)! 10 Interesting Gifts That Resonate Traditional Values!

Everything You Need to Know About Pongal(2019)! 10 Interesting Gifts That Resonate Traditional Values!

With the Pongal fast approaching, there is one thing on everyone’s mind: Festive Gifting. Are you going to get your loved ones those boring, dry fruit & chocolate hampers? Seems like the latest smartphone might be a good choice? The articles will give an idea about the diverse gifts that can be given to dear ones on the festival of Pongal.

What is Pongal?

India has been an agricultural nation long before the country was ever formed. Every region has its own celebration, as a form of thanksgiving during the harvest time. Pongal, the harvest festival celebrated in the state of Tamilnadu during the month of January. The reason being, the important crops like rice, turmeric, and sugarcane are harvested in this time period (around January-February). It also marks the day when the sun starts its journey northwards. It is celebrated over four days, with the first day being the last day of Markazhi (according to the Tamil calendar). Pongal itself falls on the first day of Thai, hence called Thai Pongal. Pongal also lends the name to the dish which is made using rice and lentils.

Rituals, Customs And Traditions of Pongal

Pongal is the time when rituals and traditions are given extreme importance starting with an oil bath. The members of the family wake up early morning and take bath preparing themselves for the puja and the festivities ahead. They don traditional festive attire which is Saree or Half Saree for women and Angavastram for men.

They also do kolam which is traditionally made by rice paste. It has then been replaced by many artificial powders of different colours. Kolams are essentially beautiful designs that are made outside and inside the house, especially in the puja room. These must be drawn by the women in the early morning after their bath.

Jallikattu is a game that is synonymous to Pongal and is only performed during this festival season. Cattle breeds such as Kangeyam and Pulikulam are released into a crowd. Young men try to grab the hump and stay hanging for a set period of time. In few places, the men try to retrieve the cash bag tied to the horns of the bull. Jallikattu is the venue where the bulls for breeding are chosen.

Another vital aspect of Pongal is the gift. Employers are known to give gifts to the employees called as Pongal Padi. Gifts are also exchanged between families and relatives. Another main ingredient of Pongal is sugarcane and a Pongal celebration is deemed incomplete without sugarcane.

How to Celebrate Pongal?

Pongal is celebrated over a period of four days starting with Bhogi where old household items are thrown in a huge bonfire made of cow-dung and agricultural wastes. This is to pay homage to Lord Indra, the rain god and pray for an abundance of rains in the upcoming agricultural season.

The second day is the Thai Pongal where people cook milk and rice in an earthen pot and let it boil over. It is then laid out as an offering to the sun god. Pongal is made in an earthen pot. Tumeric plant which is considered auspicious is tied around the pot. The offering includes banana, coconut and two sticks of sugarcane.

The third day is the Mattu Pongal where cows are celebrated for their tireless labour. They are bathed and adorned with garlands and bells and are worshipped. In villages, the adorned bulls are taken to the village centre for Jallikattu.

The last day is the Kannum or Kanu Pongal where the leftover food is laid out in turmeric leaves out in the courtyard. The women then perform arti for their brothers and then pray for the prosperity of the family members. They then visit family members bringing the four-day celebration to an end.

Traditional Gifts of Pongal

Pongal is the time when people meet their relatives and share their joy and gifts. Though gifts can be anything, there are certain traditional items like household items that are commonly given as gifts. We have discussed the traditional way of gifting below for your perusal.

  • Sun God Sculptures - The second day of Pongal, the Thai Pongal is celebrated in honour of the Sun God. It is considered auspicious to gift Sun God sculptures. You can either gift a sculpture or a wall hanging.
  • Plants That Bring Prosperity - Plants such as money plant is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity to the home. Gifting such plants makes a good impression and strengthens relationships.
  • Household Gifts - The first day of Pongal is when you cast out unwanted household stuff in the bonfire. Hence, it is ideal that you gift household items for Pongal. It might be anything; Just choose something that fits your budget.
  • Sweet Hampers - Sweet or Mithai Hampers are considered perfect gifts since they are said to sweeten and strengthen relationships; even those which have turned sour. However, choose something with a festive wrap to make a good impression.

10 Delightful Pongal Gifts That Verge on the Traditional Side

Holy Laxmi Idol - For Wealth And Prosperity

Laxmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. She is also the wife of Vishnu and is also said to be the energy centre for Lord Vishnu. Silver, on the other hand, is known to have antibacterial properties. It helps boost the immunity system. These properties make the pure silver Laxmi idol an ideal gift for Pongal. The Laxmi idol is made of 90% pure silver and weighs 20 grams. It is available for just Rs.1,899 at Gifts 2 India Online. Gift this to your loved ones and bring home prosperity and wealth.

Surya Rath Brass Idol - Usher in the Power of the Sun

Source www.amazon.in

Pongal is celebrated to honour the Sun god and as such gifting, a Surya idol is considered auspicious. Surya is the main deity in the navagrahas and is also worshipped during Pongal. This Surya idol shows him with 4 hands riding a chariot with 7 horses depicting the 7 chakras in the human body. In his hands, he holds a sankha, lotus, gada and chakra. The Surya idol from Amazon is made of brass and weighs around 1.5 kg. It costs you around Rs. 2,549.

Wooden Temple - A Place for Your God

Not only is a beautifully carved Idol an apt gift, but also this magnificent wooden temple. Made of high-quality wood, the exquisitely carved wooden temple adds to the auspiciousness of the Puja room. Priced at Rs.1,185, it makes for an ideal abode for any deity at home. You can make the gift more memorable by personalising it. Make any corner of your home auspicious with this beautiful wooden temple from Boon Toon. The stunning carving in the wooden temple makes it visually appealing.

Jaipuri Brass Flower Vase - For That Royal Touch

Flower Vases are always considered as excellent gifts when it comes to gifting especially when it comes with beautiful artwork. This pair of brass flower vases has Jaipuri floral artwork giving it a royal touch. This makes for an ideal living room decoration; Made with high-quality brass, it stands as a testament to the beautiful traditional artwork of Jaipur. It is available at Gifts 2 India Online for Rs. 1,995. The set contains 2 flower vases which are approximately 10 inches each.

Lush Green Air Purifying Plant - To Cleanse Your Home

Source www.fnp.com

Gifting living plants instead of the conventional gifts have become a welcome change these days. With the amount of pollution that has invaded our homes, air purifying plants such as these have become a necessity. Sansevieria Plant is native to West Africa and is known for its air-purifying properties especially formaldehyde. Priced at Rs.429, the air purifying plants come in a plastic pot measuring up to 6 inches. They are relatively low maintenance and is available to buy at Ferns And Petals. They also offer next day delivery if you are looking for some last minute gifts.

Bouquet LED Lamp - To Bring in Light

Source www.fnp.com

Darkness is the absence of light. Gift this bouquet of light and bring in light and warmth to the person you gift it too. Light chases away the darkness and brings on positive energy and necessary brightness. This Bouquet LED Lamp shaped to look like a flower bouquet is a perfect home decor since the lamp is not too bright but quite soft and pleasing. Priced at Rs. 1,231, the Bouquet LED Lamp is available to buy at Ferns And Petals.

Money Plant - For Prosperity

Source www.fnp.com

Plants bring in joy and colour to one’s home. Not only that they purify the air and few plants are also known to bring prosperity. The money plant as its name indicates is also known to bring in wealth and prosperity. It can also be placed in the aquarium where it purifies the water and facilitates the fish with necessary nutrients. The money plant has its origin in the French Polynesia. Being both indoor and outdoor plant, it is quite versatile and also less maintenance. It is priced at Rs. 499 at Ferns And Petals.

Wooden Embossed Box - For That Artistic Touch

Traditional artwork and fine detailing always wins hearts over and is the ideal gift for any occasion especially for Pongal which is ingrained in the hearts of everyone beyond religion. This Designer Multicolor Wooden Embossed Box is perfect for anyone who loves art and tradition. This sturdy wooden box also features beautiful artwork carved in it. Made of premium wood, it is priced at Rs. 335. It is ideal safekeeping place for knicks knacks that are easily lost. The colours and the carving give it an unmistakable antique look. It is available to buy at Boon Toon.

Big Festive Combo - For That Sweet Touch

Sweets/Mithai are traditional gifts that you give to anyone not only during festivals but also for any occasion. Even strained relationships can strengthen when you gift them with sweets. Such is their importance in Indian tradition. This Big Festive Combo contains 500gm Motichur ladoo, 400 gm Mixed Dryfruits and 250gm Kaju Barfi Sweets. The sweets are made of purest of desi ghee and brings the flavour that our ancestors achieved. This combo is sure to bring joy to anyone who you gift it to. Better yet, you can even order this to your relatives in India. Priced at Rs. 1,595, it is available to buy in GIfts 2 India Online.

Silver Dinner Set - For Something Special

Silver products have a special place in our hearts and homes and that is not just for vanity. Silver is known for its anti-bacterial properties and also for its immunity boosting capability. Still many households across the country use silver utensils for the babies when they first start food. Such is its importance in our tradition and culture. Isn’t a silver plated dinner set an ideal gift for the special one in the family. The combo has 10 items including a silver plated thali (14” diameter), 6 silver plated bowls, 2 spoons and 1 silver plated glass. All of them are silver plated over white metal. Though the beauty and the shine rivals every other utensil, it is expensive at Rs. 6,895. You can order it to your relatives in India though Gifts 2 India Online.

Sunandha Wilis
After spending 12 years in the hectic corporate world, Sunandha quit the industry to follow her passion for writing. She enjoys writing on a variety of subjects including travel, health, beauty, fashion and technology. Apart from writing she also dons the hat of an editor from time to time. Her time off is spent listening to music and wrestling with her boys.
From our editorial team

Offer Prayer And Share Something Sweet with Your Loved Ones.

Pongal is a harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. Every Tamils celebrate this grand festival with lots of verve and enthusiasm. On this special festival, people usually offer their prayings to Sun God and thank him as well as the livestock for helping to make an abundant harvest. People celebrate this festival by shopping, visiting temples, sightseeing, exchanging pleasant gifts and having delicious foods. Like every festivity, Pongal is also incomplete without food. You can prepare a sweetened dish using rice, jaggery and lentils and have it together with your loved ones.