By Swami Harshananda
Sometimes transliterated as: Pongal, PoJgal, Poygal
In Tamil Nadu, the Makara Saṅkrānti is a harvest festival and is called Poñgal. Poṅgal is a kind of sweet preparation, made out of sugar or jaggery, rice, ghee and milk. It is prepared from the newly harvested crops and offered to the Sun-god. The day prior to the Poñgal day is called bhogi. It is a day dedicated to changing the old articles in the house for the new, especially old clothes and consigning them to flames. The day after the Poñgal day is reserved for the observance of the ‘Cattle Day’ with bull-fights or taming the wild bulls by the strong young men of the village.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore