What is the significance of sugarcane and jaggery on Pongal? - letsdiskuss
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Sneha Bhatiya

Student ( Makhan Lal Chaturvedi University ,Bhopal) | Posted on | others

What is the significance of sugarcane and jaggery on Pongal?


Thinker | Posted on

Pongal, along with Makar Sankranti and Lohri marks an important seasonal change and thus owe cultural and religious celebration. It is the time when the winter solstice ends and the Sun travels from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer.

For farmers, this is the time to sit and relax and see their hard work of months bear fruits. Therefore, the time is full of celebratory activities like offerings to fire (Lohri), charity (Makar Sankranti), and the making of special dishes (Pongal). In different parts of the country, this time is celebrated as the harvest festival.

Letsdiskuss (Courtesy: Times Now)

Basically, Indians thank the spirits of fire, air, earth, and land, in their different ways for the rich harvest they have given them. The festivals, of course, also promote communal harmony and brotherhood.

Talking specifically of Pongal, it is known for the sweet dish that is prepared on this day, which is a concoction of rice, moong dal, jaggery, and milk. The festival is also celebrated as the first day of the Thai month of the Tamil calendar.

pongal-celebration-letsdiskuss (Courtesy: Latest GK GS)

The jaggery is obtained from the sugarcane itself, the production, sales, and price are on a great hike in some regions of Tamil Nadu around the time of Pongal. Spiritually, sugarcane is one of the five sense objects that are held by the Goddess Lalitha Tripura Sundari. The sense objects control the five evils of the human soul –Lust, Anger, Emotional attachment, Pride, and Envy.

The straight sugarcane is also symbolic of a firm mind that controls our senses. The sugarcane also symbolizes the establishment of harmony among family members.

Sugarcane and Jaggery are so important on this festival that the livelihood of farmers depend on the sales of the production of these two commodities. This year, the farmers are disappointed with the government as they have not included jaggery the Pongal Gift Hamper. This has taken the sales of Jaggery very low, affecting the finances of these farmers. So we see that jaggery and sugarcane don’t only have cultural and spiritual importance, but economic significance as well.


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