CHENNAI: Looks like the city took the ‘going back to the roots’ philosophy quite seriously this Pongal. To ring in the harvest festival, many schools, colleges and other institutions indulged in typical village-style celebrations that included traditional games like pallanguzhi, pandi, karungal vilaiyattu, dhayakattam, kite flying and uri adithal, rangoli/kolam designing and the most important part — feasting on some delectable sakkarai pongal and venn pongal.
Streets were decorated with thoranam, sugar cane and serial lights. Traditional folk arts like therukoothu, mayilattam, puliattam etc were also performed live during many of these celebrations. Adding the environment-friendly spirit to Pongal festivities was Sevalaya, which conducted a ‘smokeless Bhogi’ rally to explain the hazards of burning tyre, rubber and plastic materials.
Babaji Vidyashram, Sholinganallur
Babaji Vidyashram organised a grand programme, ‘Pongal Peruvizha’, an authentic village festival. Stalls and shops selling traditional foods like Goli soda, Thengaa mangaa sundal, Panju mittai, karumbu juice and village-themed shops selling ethnic wear and goods, marudhaani, traditional toys, etc were some of the highlights.
Lake View Matriculation School, Ambattur
Students of Lake View Matriculation School. Ambattur, celebrated Pongal by designing a 800 sq ft rangoli themed on the various aspects of the harvest festival. This was followed by playing traditional games like pallanguzhi, pandi, dhayam, karungal vilaiyattu and many more. Both children and parents participated in the programmes with great fervour. The school grounds resembled a traditoonal village too.
Velammal Matriculation Higher Secondary School, East Mogappair
The Maha Pongal Utsav at Velammal had exciting events like a mega pongal pot exhibit, giant wheel ride along with various forms of folk dance like silambattam, kavadiattam, mayilattam, oyilattam garaggattam, puliattam, etc performed by students.
Sevalaya, Kasuva village, Tiruvallur
Sevalaya organised a students’ rally, on the theme ‘Smokeless Bhogi’ to welcome Pongal. The rally started from Pakkam village through Puliyur village, Ramanathapuram village (Tiruvallure district) finally reaching Sevalaya campus. The students were chanting appropriate slogans to create awareness on environmental pollution that takes place as a result of burning tyres for Bhogi.
BS Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology, Vandalur
Students and teachers came dressed in traditional attire to celebrate Pongal with great pomp and show at BS Abdur Rahman Crescent Institute of Science and Technology. Professor Sahol Hamid Bin Abu Bakar, vice chancellor, distributed sugarcane to staff and students.
VIT Chennai campus, Vandalur
Arignar Anna Tamizh Mandram of VIT campus, Chennai, celebrated Pongal by organising cultural programmes. Founder-chancellor G Viswanathan awarded winners of the various competitions with prizes. Karthikeya Siva Senathipathi, former director, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, was the chief guest. Karthik Naren, director of the film Narakasuran was also present at the event.