Thai Pongal is an ancient Tamil festival and its roots can be traced back to the Sangam Period (200 B.C.). The festival is also referred as Makar Sankaranthi and is observed on the first day of the Tamil month
Pongal is a four day festival. The first day is Bhogi Pongal. The second day is Pongal or Thai Pongal or Perum Pongal and is the most important day. The third day is Mattu Pongal. The fourth and final day of celebration is Kaanum Pongal.
Pongal is also essentially an agrarian festival. On the day, people worship the Sun God (Lord Surya or Suryan). Beautiful kolams (rangolis) are drawn in front of homes. Various farm products including sugarcane are displayed on plantain leaves. Offerings are made to Lord Surya, Ganesha and other gods.
The most important event on the day is the cooking of Pongal dish, which is done during the auspicious moment when the Thai month begins. The Pongal is prepared in a fresh earthen vessel, which is adorned with flowers, turmeric leaves and roots.