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Four-day Pongal festival begins in South India
The four-day festival of Makar Sankranthi or Pongal has begun in Andhra Pradesh, informed a Facebook friend, Chitturi Vasu Prakash, from Vishakhappattan with the picture of the festivities in local school Sri Prakash Vidya Niketan.

On the occasion of Pongal, people wear new clothes, exchange gift and make Rangolis or colourful floor decoration. Both in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Pongal is celebrated with great enthusiasm. It is also the season when farmers celebrate the harvesting of sugar cane in South India.

 In fact, Makara Sankranthi refers to the event of the Sun entering the zodiac sign of Makara or Capricorn and in North India it is celebrated with kite flying.

In the temples of South India, bells, drums, clarinets and conch shells are sounded to herald the joyous occasion of Pongal. Also, the chanting of prayers and the offering of vegetables, sugar cane and spices to the gods in the temples is done on this day to get exonerated from the past sins.

Another special thing in India is that to symbolize a bountiful harvest, rice is cooked in new pots until they boil over and it signifies the meaning of the word Pongal.

The four days of celebrations are also called Bhogi Festival, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal.

Furthermore, the Pongal celebrations are marked by processions of cows adorned with colours and ornaments. The threshold of each house is also beautified by colourful Kolam designs.

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