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. The cattle are washed and the horns are painted. Flower garlands and tingling bells are tied around their necks. They are fed with the pongal. 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. Also it is called as poo parikkum thirunaal. Many people will go to pluck the flowers.
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… This phrase was used by my Mannima (mother’s mother). After manjal keethal, they have to follow a ritual of kanu pidi. This is mainly done for the goodness of their brothers. After this they are not supposed to drink or eat anything before taking bath. It is to come out of kanu peedai. The following phrase is said while doing this
” 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.
- A kolam is drawn facing the east.
- The turmeric leaves used previous day is placed on the kolam.
- On the leaf, the sakkarai pongal and the white rice prepared on the previous day is placed as small balls in numbers 5, 7, 9 and 11.
- Sugarcane and the fresh turmeric are also chopped into small bits and placed over it.
- Kumkum is placed on the rice and pongal balls.
- Finally neiveydhyam is done 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.
Click the link to see the method for making variety rices.