‘Thai Pongal’ is a religious festival celebrated by Hindus all over the World. This is celebrated on the first day of the Hindu lunar month of ‘Thai’. This day usually falls on the 14th of January of every year.
Hinduism, the world’s oldest religion, has no beginning. It predated recorded history. It has no human founder. Hindus believe that the creator is the one all – pervasive supreme-begin who is both imminent and transcendent. Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution. In this universe there are innumerable planets. The earth revolves around the sun. Sunrays fall on the earth at different angles. On the first day of the month of ‘Thai’ of every year, the direct sunrays move toward Tropic of Capricorn. Hindus have a special name called ‘Makaram’ for this imaginary latitude line. Hinduism mentions this movement of the sunrays ‘Utara-ayanam’ – meaning moving northward.
On this special day Hindus pay homage to the Supreme-begin and Sun god because they provide light and water for vegetation which all living things depend on. They worship the Sun god by offering milk-rice and fruits prepared from the first harvest. Weeks before this auspicious day, they clean and pain their homes. On this occasion they rise before sunrise to purify their mind and body through meditation and bathing in holy water. They boil milk-rice in front of their homes, and then they sprinkle milk-water on their homes to purify them.
As soon as the sun rises in the East, they offer these offerings on a clean leaf. Then they express their profound love and gratitude to the almighty God and Sun by doing Puja, Bhaja, praying and meditating. After performing these rituals they partake the meals with their relatives. The family honors their cattle by performing special ceremonies on the next day.
The Hindu festivals are based on loving of the almighty creator and loving of all living things in this universe.
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