Pongal - Indian harvest feast. Pongal, which is celebrated in India, marks the start of sun’s six-month long journey northwards (Uttarayana). This observance occurs annually around January 14 each year. Hindus consider the date as auspicious and mark this as the beginning of sun’s movement towards the zodiac Capricorn (Makarm Rashi).Pongal is associated with many legends but one of the most popular ones is the legend of Govardhan Mountain and legend of Lord Shiva and his bull, Nandi. According to the legend of Govardhan Mountain, Lord Krishna lifted the mountain on his little finger on Bhogi, which is the first day of Pongal, to protect the cattle and people from Indra, an angry rain god. According to the legend of Lord Shiva, on the third day of Pongal, Lord Shiva sent his buffalo Nandi to tell people to have oil bath daily and eat once a month. However, Nandi became confused and told people to eat daily and bathe once a month. This angered Lord Shiva so he placed Nandi on earth to help humans harvest for more food, therefore Pongal became a harvest festival.
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