Monday, December 17, 2007

Season of Joy

Picture Courtesy: Smart Canucks

Tis the season to cheer
Oh look winter is here
The blanket of white just outside
Lures me and fills me with yuletide

Tis the season to be jolly
Bring out the mistletoe and the holly
Light up the christmas tree
And watch the little faces fill with glee

The jolly old man riding his sleigh
Arrives on the eve of the big day!
The night spent sleepless in anticipation
Unwrapping the bright boxes as dawn seeps in

And soon it will be a brand new year
Forget the falls, the triumphs may you hold dear
Bidding farewell to the year past,
fresh beginnings may you usher
Newer boundaries may you conquer

Just around the bend ahead is Pongal
The traditional Indian Harvest Festival
In the dance of pure joy, clapping hands, tapping feet
Women whirl around in circles to the village beat!

Oh my there is so much color
It is indeed the season to cheer.
Remember the real celebration is to show you care
To hug, kiss and cherish all that you hold dear!
So heres wishing you every brightness and glitter
And hoping that happiness may fill the air!

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Pongal is a festival celebrated in South India. This festival is aimed at thanking the gods for a plentiful harvest.
A sweet concoction called chakara pongal is made from rice and brown sugar in a traditional earthern pot. As the pot boils over, the entire family gathers around to join in the refrain "Pongal O Pongal". Traditionally girls dance around the bon fire, singing songs in praise of the gods, the spring and the harvest. A traditional south Indian dance form called kummi (where women clap their hands and tap their feet in rhythm with the folk song with or without music) is performed. Wearing new clothes people visit temples and worship god. Another tradition is to offer Sugar Cane to God and then distribute it and eat it!
I celebrate pongal by just making the sweet - chakara pongal in a pressure cooker (european cooker). It usually occurs mid Jan.
The harvest festival in rest of India is called Shankranthi, Baisakhi (in the North - Thanks for letting us know Rayshma)
Picture Courtesy : Google Images
Read others at Writers Island
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18 comments:

Rambler said...

hey wish you a merry christmas and a happy pongal..

Indeed T's season to be jolly...

rayshma said...

merry x'mas! has santa visited thee again...?
i like this space too :)
and p.s.: d harvest fest's called "baisakhi" in d northern belt...

Just Jen said...

did you write that poem? it's fantastic! you could publish that for sure!
the chakara pongal sounds delicious!
thanks for your kind comments, i need all the encouragement I can get today!

Preethi said...

Rambler - Wishes to you too...
Rayshma - He is definitely visiting Nantu.. but he never visits me :( Baisakhi - I stand corrected... will edit and correct the info.Thanks

rwellsrwells said...

Hi Preethi, my wife and I celebrated the Harvest in Delhi one year, and Hyderabad the next and both were exciting. More crackers in Delhi; more dancing in Hyderabad. Thanks for the memory.

Marja said...

A very merry Christmas and a great pongal. Great poem

Preethi said...

Jen - Yes I did write the poem.. thanks for the lovely comment... and welcome..
Rwells - that sound so lovely .. glad to have been the one to remind you...

keith hillman said...

What a happy and joyful piece. Thanks for the cultural note too.

Pauline said...

thanks for sharing your celebration!

Preethi said...

Marja and Keith - Thank you for your wonderful comment
Pauline - You are welcome

gautami tripathy said...

It has that seasonal happy feel to it.

I love to visit my South Indian friends during Pongal..

jeques said...

This poem could be a christmas song and would be a hit for a christmas carol. I hear a happy melody as I read it.

Here's my thoughts this season:

http://jeques.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/my-first-snowre-posted-for-writers-island/

I wish you well.

~ Jeques

Thinking aloud said...

nice, cheery one preethi and i forgot yes, pongal is around the corner too :)

yumm... when did i turn into such a foodie ;(

wishing u loads of joy in the new year ahead :)

Vishnupriya Janardhanan said...

Its the best time of the year isnt it?so many reasons to celebrate. . .Merry xmas, happy newyear and a happy pongal!!and yay i wud get a day off from work:D

tumblewords said...

Lovely poem! I didn't know about pongal but it sounds like something I'll want to learn more about. Thanks!

UL said...

Preethi, this was lovely...and perfect. Pongal,even though I have never celebrated it, tonnes of friends who does, and mmmm, the sweet is delicious. Thank you.

UL

Preethi said...

Gautami - Thats so nice.. yes its a wonderful festival pongal.
Jeques - Thanks for the wonderful comment. Just read your post and left a comment there
TA - Thanks wish you the same.. and dont worry, I am quite a foodie too :P
Vish - Yeah that is the best part isnt it?? :)
Tumblewords - Thanks and Welcome
UL - Thank You... and yes the sweet is indeed delicious!!!

Compassion Unlimitted said...

Thinking of Pongal already..cheers..lol
Seasons greetings and Happy New Year
TC
CU