As people started celebrating Pongal with Bhogi festival today, the smoke, coupled with mist, covered Chennai.
While motorists found it difficult to navigate on roads, some flights were reportedly delayed.
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) started awareness against pollution during the festival on 10 January.
Right from engaging school children throughout Tamil Nadu to vehicle campaigns in the city, the board members have been actively involved in this process for the past couple of days. They are expecting pollution levels to be lower this time when compared to last year.
Bhogi is the first day of the four-day Pongal festival. This year the festival falls on January 14 and usually corresponds to the last day of the Tamil month Margazhi. It’s celebrated in the south and Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana all observe Bhogi.
Farmers worship the sun and the earth by anointing their ploughs and sickles with sandalwood paste. A special puja is performed on the first day of Pongal before the cutting of paddy.