Pongal in India in 2025

Pongal in India in 2025
  How long until Pongal?
  Dates of Pongal in India
2025 Jan 14
Andhra PradeshTue, Jan 14Regional Holiday
PuducherryTue, Jan 14Regional Holiday
SikkimTue, Jan 14Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduTue, Jan 14Regional Holiday
2024 Jan 15
Andhra PradeshMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
Arunachal PradeshMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
OdishaMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
PuducherryMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
SikkimMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
TripuraMon, Jan 15Regional Holiday
2023 Jan 14, Jan 15
PuducherrySun, Jan 15Regional Holiday
SikkimSun, Jan 15Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduSun, Jan 15Regional Holiday
Arunachal PradeshSat, Jan 14Regional Holiday
2022 Jan 14
Arunachal PradeshFri, Jan 14Regional Holiday
PuducherryFri, Jan 14Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduFri, Jan 14Regional Holiday
2021 Jan 14
Arunachal PradeshThu, Jan 14Regional Holiday
PuducherryThu, Jan 14Regional Holiday
SikkimThu, Jan 14Regional Holiday
Tamil NaduThu, Jan 14Regional Holiday

A popular harvest and thanksgiving festival marking the start of spring

  Pongal in other countries
Pongal internationally
  Which regions observe Pongal in 2025?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday
Related holidays

When is Pongal?

This is a popular Hindu festival that occurs on or around January 14th across India. It is also celebrated as a public holiday in Sri Lanka.

The day is known by various names and various customs are observed in the different Indian states.

Despite these variations, it is a harvest and thanksgiving festival marking the start of spring, the end of the traditional farming season and the gathering of the first food from the harvest.

It is unique among Hindu festivals as the date is based on a solar calendar rather than the phases of the moon. This means it falls on January 14th in the Western calendar.

The date of Pongal marks the start of Uttarayana, the time when the sun starts to move northwards after the winter equinox.

This date is now actually December 21st in the Western Calendar, but the time of the equinoxes moves by 50 seconds each year due to the wobble of the Earth's axis.

This shows the ancient age of this festival - a thousand years ago, the festival was on December 31st.

Uttarayana is also considered a time of good fortune and important events are scheduled during this period.

Celebrations across India

Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka

The festival is celebrated for up to four days and is known as Pongal.

The harvest festival is known as Pongal and lasts for three days.

In Andhra Pradesh, the first day is known as Bhogi, and it is a day of cleaning and cleansing; old clothes are thrown away, marking the start of new life.

The second day is known as Pongal Day, and is celebrated as Surya Pongal. This is the key day for celebrations and holidays in many states. To mark a good harvest, milk or rice is cooked until they boil over - 'Pongal' means 'it boils'. The food is offered to the gods (including the sun or rain gods, depending on the region's climate) before people eat it to cleanse themselves of past sins.

The third day is Mattu Pongal (festival of the cow). It is a day to offer thanks to the village cows and oxen, who played a key role in the season's farming as they are used to plough the land. The cows and oxen are bathed, decorated with garlands and worshipped.

The fourth day is known as Kanum Pongal or Kanyapongal. In Tamil Nadu, it may be called Uzhavar Tirunal. On this day, importance is given to the community and to strengthen ties. Families gather together to have a sumptuous meal. Younger members seek the blessings of the older members of their families. It is also a day for traditional Indian folk dances such as mayilattam and kolattam.

In southern India, all three or four days of Pongal are considered important. Southern Indians who have settled in the north will usually celebrate the second day. As it coincides with Makara Sankranti in the north, it may also be called Pongal Sankranti.

Maharashtra, Gujarat

Here the day is known as Makar Sankranti. Makara Sankranthi refers to the event of the Sun entering the zodiac sign of Makara or Capricorn, marking the start of its northward journey. It is a festival of the young and the old.

In Ahmedabad in Gujarat, a large part of the celebration is the International Kite Festival. The skies are filled with kites, and kite makers come from many other cities to make and fly multicoloured kites in all designs and sizes. At night, kites with paper lamps fill the sky with light.

Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir

Lohri, the harvest festival of Punjab, is celebrated with great enthusiasm every year. The festival may also be known as Lohadi or Lal Loi and is usually a gazetted holiday. December and January is winter in Punjab and bonfires are lit on the eve of Sankranti. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown on the bonfires and friends and relatives gather together.  People sing folk songs, perform bhangra, gidda and chajja, and relish traditional dishes by the bonfire. This auspicious festival is marked with a lot of fervour.

Uttar Pradesh

The period is celebrated as Kicheri. An important tradition on this day is to have a bath and masses of people can be seen bathing in the Sangam at Prayagraj where the rivers Ganga, Jamuna and Saraswathi flow together.

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