The harvest festival Pongal was celebrated across Tamil Nadu on Thursday with fervour, with the famous jallikattu, the bull-taming sport, in Madurai adding spice to the festivities.
People woke up early, dressed up in traditional attire and prepared the sweet dish Pongal to herald the auspicious Tamil month ‘Thai’ during which marriages are held and new ventures started.
Colourful ‘kolams’ (rangoli) wishing people a happy Pongal were seen drawn in front of many homes, while prayers seeking divine blessings for a good year ahead were also held.
People greeted each other, even as leaders including Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam and DMK President MK Stalin extended their festival greetings.
In Madurai, at the famous Avaniapuram jallikattu ,charging bulls challenged the grit and determination of the ‘maadupidi veerargal’ (the tamers) and rewards were galore for the winners in this contest between the man and the beast.
Before and during the event, necessary COVID-19 precautions were taken.
In a big bonanza, the Tamil Nadu government had earlier announced and provided Rs 2,500 as Pongal gift to the people in the wake of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, besides a kit that included rice, required to make the sweet dish Pongal.