Pongal is like any another day when it is celebrated in Chennai. You hardly buy 2 sugarcanes and make sweet pongal and do pooja.
But, it involves a series of events when celebrated in villages. My childhood memories of pongal celebrations are still fresh. It is not a one day event. You start with early morning color kolam in the full month of margazhi with the whole street looking colorful and you go about comparing whose kolam looks good. Then on bhogi (day before pongal), you start your day with burning unwanted old unused household things, early in the morning and having a nice feel in the bonfire, then go about washing and cleaning the whole house.
The pongal day starts with early morning pooja and pongal in a mud pot and praying to sun-god in the outdoors. (Now we prepare pongal in cooker in 7th floor of my flat). Then a visit to series of temples.
The next day, maattu pongal, one puts kolam all around the house (hall, rooms, front yard, back yard) using wet rice flour paste. Then wash the cows, paint its horns, decorate it with bells and flower garlands around the neck, and do pooja for them. Then go on a ride in the bullock cart. Then another pooja at night.
The next day, kaanum pongal is real fun day, where you wear new dresses and visit friends and relatives, play variety of games including pot breaking (uriyadi) on streets. You collect as well as distribute lot of money on this day.
Gone are all those days. Now even in my hometown, things are changed a lot. But it will be definitely better than what we do here. I wanted to take my kids there for the festival and as with other years, this year also i have to postpone it to next year.
Some snaps of the kutties taken on pongal day here in our home.