Role of South Indian Pongal Festival in Developing Environmental Sustainability

Monika M
Department of English, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India
Divyavarshini V
Department of English, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India
Suganthan C
Department of English, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore-632014, Tamil Nadu, India


Plum Analytics


The Pongal festival in South India celebrated mostly in Tamil-speaking regions, is more than just a harvest celebration; it serves as a microcosm of traditional sustainable living practices. This essay examines how Pongal encourages eco-friendly habits and develops a peaceful relationship between humans and nature. Pongal is a traditional harvest festival observed throughout South India. Pongal festivities, which last four days and mark the start of the auspicious Tamil month Thai, celebrate agricultural wealth and prosperity. Pongal's ancient customs and ceremonies encourage environmental protection, wise resource use, and sustainable living. Recent efforts have been undertaken to green Pongal festivities with eco-innovations that combine tradition and sustainability. However, the vast magnitude of the festivities produces a lot of garbage and pollution. Pongal must be developed as a truly eco-friendly celebration through community-led efforts, government assistance, and public awareness campaigns. Pongal is traditionally prepared to utilise clay pots, sugarcane debris, and banana leaves, demonstrating an indigenous understanding of recycling and reuse ensuring using renewable resources and biodegradable products. Worshipping animals as part of Mattu Pongal emphasises the importance of ethical animal husbandry, whereas the ritual burning of useless goods on Bhogi Pongal represents simplicity via mindful decluttering also ensuring the production of palm tress and korai green leading to prevention of soil erosion. The feeding of kolams (Raw rice powder) and seasonal fruits to birds and insects exemplifies the symbiotic interaction that exists between nature and agriculture. Reviving such methods can raise environmental awareness by reminding people of Pongal's sustainable ethos. Pongal is the ideal cultural framework for rediscovering the underlying sustainability principles in tradition. Pongal festivities may be reoriented towards environmental consciousness by combining old eco-wisdom with modern inventions. Community-led initiatives supported by administration and infrastructure can improve resource utilisation and waste management. Promoting local goods, green décor, and eco-friendly habits through public awareness campaigns encourages people to celebrate sustainability while having fun. Pongal's rich cultural roots can help South India's agricultural and natural heritage thrive in an environmentally responsible future.


  • Pongal,
  • Renewable Resource,
  • Sustainability,
  • Pollution,
  • Green Gas Emission,
  • Sankranti,
  • Jallikattu
  • ...More


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Article Details

Volume 5, Issue 1, Year 2024

Published 2024-01-24

How to Cite

M, M., V, D., & C, S. (2024). Role of South Indian Pongal Festival in Developing Environmental Sustainability. Indian Journal of Multilingual Research and Development, 5(1), 1–10.