"Wishing Everyone Happy Ponggal and a New Year. May all your wishes come true and GOD bless you with Good Health, Prosperity and Enlightenment this year !"
From January 14th, the Sun begins its journey northward as it transits into the constellation of Capricorn, signaling the end of darkness and the return of ever increasing daylight through July 16th.
In astrological terms, it is the Vedic Winter Solstice and in India it is referred to as “Pongal”. The transit is a powerful opportunity to change your old ways and rewrite the rules for the next year.
Your old ways might not have brought you the affluence or poignant happiness that you have been yearning for. The celebrations associated with this transit carry a strong vibration which can stir up your awareness and help you receive what you rightly deserve.
The morning of January 13th prior to the transit is the time to clean your homes and your mind. Run through your closets and throw out old items from the past that no longer has a place in your life. Spiritually this is the time to overhaul of your current self and getting ready for a higher self. This festival celebrates leaving behind the old way of doing things, be it relationship, money matters or health habits.
Jupiter's Benefic Influences Makes for 6 Possible Great Sun Transits
The first day of the Vedic New Year, Thursday, January 14th, is the day when Sun enters the sign Capricorn. Winter comes to an end and there is a gradual onset of sunny days. It is interesting to know that even Indra, the king of heaven, rejoices during this time of abundance, fun, luxury and happiness.
The Sun governs your health; both physical and mental, self-esteem, proper functioning of the heart and your vision. On the Winter Solstice the Sun moves into Capricorn forming an auspicious "yoga" or configuration with Jupiter. The Sun remains in one sign for 30 days. Fortunately, the Sun and Jupiter will be continuing to form auspicious yogas even though the Sun will transit into the next zodiac signs. These good luck times continue when the Sun is in Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, and Gemini which ends on July 16th. Accelerating the benefic effects of the Sun using remedies can augment your good luck time, like sailing with the wind at your back.
Customs & Celebrations
Thai Pongal generally includes customs & celebrations that are the expression of jubilation over life's renewal. On Thai Pongal, the family begins the day early. Every member of the family gets up early in the morning, bathes, puts on new clothes and gathers to cook the traditional Pongal (rice pudding). The front garden is pre-prepared for this ceremonious cooking. A flat square pitch is made and decorated with kolam drawings, and it is exposed to the direct sun light. A fire wood hearth will be set up using three bricks. The cooking begins by putting a clay pot with water on the hearth.
A senior member of the family conduct the cooking and the rest of the family dutifully assists him or her or watches the event. When the water has boiled the rice is put into the pot - after a member the family ceremoniously puts three handful of rice in first. The other ingredients of this special dish are chakkarai (brown cane sugar) or katkandu (sugar candy), milk (cow's milk or coconut milk), roasted green gram (payaru), raisins, cashew nuts and few pods of cardamom.
When the meal is ready it is first put on a banana leaf and the family pray for few minutes to thank the nature sprit, the sun and farmers. Then the meal (Pongal) is served with fruits (banana and mango) among the family.