Thai Pongal, the day following the Bhogi Pandigai is celebrated as Thai Pongal (primary day of Pongal festival). Thai Pongal is fundamentally a harvest festival which commemorates the conclusion of the harvest time of the year across the southern state.
Thai Pongal is one of the most significant festivals of Tamil people celebrated across Tamil Nadu and Puducherry (Pondicherry).
In 2013, Thai Pongal was celebrated on January 14th
The day distinguishes the commencement of the northbound movement of the Sun from its south most limit point. This movement of the Sun is traditionally adverted as uttarayana period . The word Thai Pongal actually entails over boiling (outpour due to over boiling) of rice and milk in the Tamil month of Thai. The primary theme of the Thai Pongal festival is to give thanks to Suriya Bhagavan (Sun) to seek the blessings for good harvest.
Generally, in the name of Thai Pongal, homes across the state are decorated. Mango leaves are arranged using a string and tied in entrance, and kolams are drawn with wordings in it wishing fellow Tamils Happy Pongal are the few things which actually bring in real flavour to the celebrations. Tamil people across the world refer Thai Pongal as Tamizhar Thiru Naal with great pride as it holds greater importance to Tamils when compared to other festivals.
The country with huge geographics and diverseness in the culture, Pongal is celebrated across the country with different names and traditions. Thai Pongal also reminds of special cuisines prepared on this particular occasion. The common menu across all homes of Tamil Nadu on Thai Pongal is Sakkarai Pongal and Ven Pongal. The special festival dishes are cooked in a traditional clay or brass (alloy of copper and zinc) pot with turmeric plant tied around it.
The preparation part is done in an open place where sunlight is obvious as the special dishes are dedicated to suriya bhagavan. It is important to note that all the special festival dishes are made using newly harvested rice. Furthermore, Thai Pongal will not be complete without Sugarcane (Karumbu).
Thai pirandhal, vazhi pirakkum is a famous Tamil quotation meaning that "Tamil month Thai presents the path for fresh opportunities" is often said reckoning the Pongal festival.