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Kaanum Pongal or Kari Naal – Importance of Fourth Day of Pongal in Tamil Nadu - How is Kanum Pongal Observed?

Kanum Pongal, or Karu Naal or Kari Naal, is the fourth day of the Pongal Festival in Tamil Nadu. In 2024, the date of Kaanum Pongal  is January 17. Kanum literally means ‘to see’ and it is essentially a day of relaxation and socializing and people either visit relatives or go out on a picnic. Numerous sports activities like bull fight, cart race etc are held on the day in rural areas.

How is Kaanum Pongal Observed?

One of the most important events on the day is the visit to the banks of Kaveri River or other major rivers in the state. Many people pack their lunch and a have a picnic lunch on the riverbank. In many regions special prayers are offered to Mother Kaveri.

In certain parts of rural Tamil Nadu, people use the opportunity provided by Karu Nal to perform the ritual ‘Kummi Pattu’. This is a ritual performed for the speedy marriage of girls whose marriages are unduly delayed. The girl whose marriage is delayed is made to sit in the center of a circle formed by women dancing to the tune of ‘Kummi pattu.’

There is lot of revelry and merry making on the day. People mingle freely and this gives opportunities to initiate new relationships and several marriage proposals are made on this day.

A sumptuous meal is prepared on the day and youngsters pay respect to the elders and the elders give them money or presents. In some regions, food is left out on banana leaves for birds and animals.

Movies Theaters, Zoos, Parks, Tourist destinations, wildlife sanctuaries, important beaches, especially the Marina Beach in Chennai, witness heavy rush on Kari Naal.

In some regions Jallikattu is held on the day.