The most important Tamil holiday is found in the Pongal harvest festival, which is celebrated from January 14th to 17th, the beginning of the Tamil month of Thai.
Pongal is a festival of thanksgiving offered as a sacrifice to the sun god, who is worshiped as the life-giver of all that exists. The Tamil harvest festival is celebrated over a total of four days, which are referred to as Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kanu Pongal. Traditionally, on the first day, the Bhogi Pongal, the rice dish Pongal is prepared in the so-called Pongal pot by boiling milk over a fire and then adding harvested rice grains and cane sugar. Just as the dish begins to bubble and overflow, a konche called a sanggu is blown by several participants.
Women, men and children express their joy by dancing in traditional clothing while commemorating the rain god Lord Indra and getting rid of old belongings. Houses are cleaned and decorated with banana and mango leaves, and corridors, doors and the entrance area are decorated with floral, solemn or geometric patterns drawn from colored rice flour. On the third day, cattle are decorated with garlands of flowers or have their horns painted and are offered bananas as a special meal.
Pongal celebrates the harvest and marks the end of the winter solstice, when the sun god's northward journey begins.