“Pongal corresponds with Makar Sankranti and the arrival of the auspicious Uttarayan period. Bhogi revolves around the bonfire just like Lohri in Punjab. Rich in traditions and customs, the festival is essentially a celebration of a golden harvest when farmers express gratitude to the Sun god and Lord Indra. It includes special decorations, rituals and, of course, the food. During Bhogi Pongal, people clean their houses and decorate with kolams or rangoli. Beautiful Pongal kolams are made with a paste of rice flour and water, and red earth. Lamps and fresh flowers are also used to decorate homes,” she elaborates.
Mitaali, who is known for featuring in shows like ‘Dil Ki Nazar Se Khoobsurat’, ‘Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon 3’ and ‘Draupadi’ among others, has great childhood memories of celebrating the festival. She shares, “I remember my aunt used to cook yummy sweet rice, which had dry fruits, dates and jaggery. I would enjoy that, and it’s one of my fondest childhood memories. It was really fun and I miss that time. I follow the rituals even after marriage, and I will be preparing the same Pongal rice. I wish that the auspicious day of Bhogi makes our future as bright as the sunshine, and brings prosperity and great success for all of us.”