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pongal

Pongal, is a multi-day Hindu harvest festival celebrated by Tamils in India. The festival is dedicated to the Hindu sun god, the Surya, and corresponds to Makar Sankranti, the harvest festival under many regional names celebrated throughout India. According to tradition, Pongal marks the tip of solstice, and also the start of the sun's six-month-long journey northwards when the sun enters the Capricorn. To celebrate the festival, the pongal sweet dish is first offered to the gods and goddesses. Cattle are bathed, their horns polished and painted in bright colors, and garlands of flowers placed around their necks. The Pongal that is offered to the Gods is then given to cattle. During the festival, cows are decorated, prayers are offered within the home, temples and gifts are exchanged to renew social bonds of solidarity.

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