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2.15cr families in TN to receive Pongal gift hampers

 
Chennai, Nov 17 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has ordered Pongal gift hampers for families having ration cards that are eligible to get rice, and also to Sri Lankans living in refugee camps in the state.

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, the government said gift hampers containing rice, jaggery, cashew, ghee and 16 items to celebrate the festival will be provided to about 2.15 crore families in the state.

The government said the total outlay for this will be about Rs 1,088 crore.

Pongal is a Hindu harvest festival celebrated on the first of Tamil month Thai which normally falls on January 14 every year.

Pongal festivities take place over four days, the first day being Bhogi when people burn their old clothes, mats and other items. Homes are painted afresh.

The second day is the main Pongal festival celebrated on the first day of the Tamil month Thai.

The third day is the Mattu Pongal when bulls and cows are bathed and their horns painted and worshipped as they play an important role in farms.

Women feed the birds with coloured rice and pray for the welfare of their brothers.

In some parts of the state, jallikattu - a bull-taming sport - is held.

The fourth day is the Kannum Pongal - the day to go out and meet relatives and friends, and go site seeing.

--IANS
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