Maatu Pongal is celebrated on the day following the Pongal. On this occasion people worship the livestock that helped them during the cultivation of crops. We wash the cattle and paint the horns. We tie the flower garlands and tingling bells around their necks. Finally we feed the pongal to cattle. In some parts, they also take the cattle for procession. Jallikattu a game in which the ferocious bulls are tied with huge amount of money and made to run. The villagers will try to retrieve the bull. Maatu pongal is also called as poo parikkum thirunaal. Many people will go to pluck the flowers.
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In our family
In our family, on the occasion of maatu pongal we get up early in the morning for kanu pongal. Elders in the family will apply the turmeric on the forehead saying the phrase
Thayodum thandhayodum Seerodum sirappodum
Perodum Pugazhodum Perumayodum Keerthiyodum
Siruvayathil Thaalikatti Periyavargalaagi pillai petru
Kondavan manam magizha Thayyal nayagi pola
thonga thonga thaalikatti thottilum pillayumaaga
maamiyaar mamanar mecha naathiyum madhaniyum potra
piranthagathor perumai vilanga petra pillaigal aayul onga
utraar uravinarodu puththadai pudhumalar choodi
Pudhu maapillai marumagalodu pudhu pudhu sandhosham perugi
Aalpol thazhaithu endrendrum vaazhanam eppodhum siritha mugathodu irukkanam
Thank you Perima for the above phrase!! This phrase differs from family to family. I got this from my mother’s sister. Every year she sends the above voice message to all the family members, being the eldest one in the family. But now she is no more and will miss her voice message this year… My mom’s mom use this phrase. After manjal keethal, they have to follow a ritual of kanu pidi. We mainly do this for the goodness of our brothers. After this we have to take bath and then we can drink or eat anything. It is to come out of kanu peedai. We say the following phrase while doing this pooja.
Kaakka pidi veithaen ! kanupidi veithaen! kaakaikku kalyanam! kuruvikku seemandham! en kanavan ennai endrum piriyaamal irukkanam! udan piranthaan nandraga irukkanam
I got the above phrase from my paati(Dad’s mother). Thank you paati.
- Draw a kolam facing the east.
- Place the turmeric leaves used previous day on the kolam.
- Keep the sakkarai pongal and the white rice prepared on the previous day on the leaf as small balls in numbers 5, 7, 9 and 11.
- Chop the sugarcane and the fresh turmeric into small bits and place over it.
- Place the Kumkum on the rice and pongal balls.
- Offer everything to God with vethalai, paaku, pazham and offered to the crow.
On this day we make many variety rice and enjoy with our family. Married girls will go their mother’s place to celebrate this festival.