On the Pongal and Makar Sankranti day, cooking a sweet rice preparation is must for Hindus in
South India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Karnataka. Pongal, or sometimes referred as Pongali, is prepared using rice, dal, jaggery, grapes, dry fruits, sugar and milk. All these ingredients are cooked in a pot in the open and allowed to boil over. The cooking of the Pongal dish signifies plenty and prosperity for the year ahead.
This first preparation is offered to Lord Surya or the Sun God as Naivedya – It is a sort of thanksgiving to Surya whose energy is used to cultivate the food that we eat.
Farmers observe this ritual for a good harvest in the coming season.
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