Pongal is celebrated for four days
The Bhogi festival, celebrated in honor of Lord Indra, the god of rain, is the first day of Pongal. Lord Indra is responsible for the abundance of harvest, thereby bringing plenty and prosperity to the land. Also referred to as Bhogi Mantalu, on this day, it has been a tradition to clean the household. Useless items are disposed of by way of creating a bonfire into which they are thrown. This implies getting rid of all the negative elements that create negative energy and making room for positive energy in the house.
Thai Pongal is the second day of the festival, being the most important one. In addition to rice, jaggery and milk, the ingredients of Pongal dish include cardamom, raisins, Green gram (split), and cashew nuts. Cooking is done in sunlight, usually in a porch or courtyard, as the dish is dedicated to the Sun god, Surya. Pongal is cooked during the auspicious time in a decorated pot, preferably earthen pot with turmeric plants tied around it. In some places, pongal is cooked in the open part of the house under sunlight, usually in a porch or courtyard, as the dish is dedicated to the Sun god, Surya. In some places in the villages, mass cooking is done at the appointed time with devotion in the open near the temple by the women.
The cooked pongal is offered first to the Sun and other deities, then only family members an d others partake of it along with side dishes.