(poṅgal: lit. ‘is it boiling/overflowing?’)
A four-day Tamil festival (known as Makara Saṃkrānti in other parts of India), marking the beginning of the new solar year (between the 12th and 15th of January). It derives its name from one of the central components of the celebrations—married women boiling rice and milk in pots until they overflow. Poṅgal is in many respects an agricultural or harvest festival: the third day, for instance, is devoted to giving thanks to cattle by letting them graze at will.