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Pongal at DakshinaChitra

DakshinaChitra (Ph: 954114 - 272603; 272783) is celebrating `Pongal O Pongal' from January 11-16, (10 a.m-5p.m.), to create awareness about village traditions and to give city folks a chance to enjoy the festival in a unique ambience.

Bhogi festival, celebrated on the day before Pongal, is dedicated to Lord Indra, the God of Rain.

The speciality on this day, which generally falls on January 14 (the first day of Thai), is the sweet rice dish.

The next day after Pongal is when the cow or bull that represents prosperity, is worshipped.

The festival culminates in Kaanum Pongal, a day of relaxation when people indulge in sight seeing and merry making.

Tamil folk performances are going on, on all the days and the restaurant catered by MGM Beach Resorts is offering a sumptuous spread of Pongal delicacies.

On January 14, the traditional ritual of preparing pongal under the Sun on the street, to the accompaniment of folk dances, has been organised. The pongal thus prepared will be served to the visitors.

On all the days of the festival, DakshinaChitra is hosting folk performances of Tamil Nadu, such as Kaliattam, Mayilattam, and Tappattam. Siva Shakti Kaliattam Troupe from Thiraiyur, led by folk artist Muthukumar, is performing the dances in their vibrant, traditional form.

Kaliattam is a dance of Goddess Kali, in which Shakti, the avatar of Kali, kills the evil Rakshasa.

The procession will have Tappattam and Mayilattam and as these artists perform, Kathavarayan, the son of Kali, will dance ferociously.

The percussion includes thappattai, pambai and udukkai, and of course, the nadaswaram.

Other attractions at DakshinaChitra's Pongal festival are bullock cart rides, `kai kili josyam,' `boom boom maadu' and puppetry.

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