Thursday, January 15, 2009

Maattu Pongal


Tamil Nadu is in the midst of yet another festival. This time it’s Pongal, the harvest festival. On this third day known as Maatu Pongal, cows get the special treatment in honor of their essential role in helping the farmer. Cows are given a bath, their horns cleaned and then decorated with colored enamel paint. Sometimes the horns are also tipped with gold covers. These revered animals also are decorated with sandalwood paste, flowers, bells, and are even given special necklaces. On the day of Mattu Pongal, cows are allowed to roam free and are fed sweet rice and sugar cane. In some villages, the Tamil’s version of bull-taming/fighting is still practiced, even though it is outlawed.

More to come about this date of Pongal and the other days of this four-day festival.

3 comments:

Bibi said...

With all that preparation, that cow looks better than I do, ha, ha.

Melissa Enderle said...

First the bath, then the horn scrubbing. Later the painting of bright enamel paints on the horns. Perhaps a little blue, red, or yellow color on your nails would snazz you up a bit as well?

Bibi said...

Ha, ha! I can take a bath and do my nails, but despite my devilish character, I have no horns to paint! Maybe I should color my hair...