Thursday, 14 January 2016

throwback thursday - #22

tomorrow is the indian festival of pongal, or makar sankranti. astrologically, is it considered to mark the movement of sun into capricorn, but it is also india's most important celebration of harvest and 'thanksgiving'.

celebrations for every festival vary from state to state in india, and in my home state of tamilnadu, pongal marks a very festive celebration of 3-4 days. the first day of bhogi sees all the homes cleaned, decorated and old stuff discarded. the second day is the main festival of pongal, the birth of the 'thai' month, which marks the beginning of an auspicious season. newly harvested rice is cooked with freshly boiled milk & jaggery, offered to the gods, (especially the sun) and eaten along with sugarcane. the third day is 'maatu pongal', in honour of cattle & livestock, when they are decorated and given offerings of food. even the birds are left with offerings of coloured rice for them to eat.

with that little preface, we come to today's throwback thursday - i was looking for old pongal ads or greeting cards, and ended up finding some beautiful cards listed on ebay. here are a few below -

the colourfully painted card has a woman making traditional offerings on the right, while the left one has a pongal message, signed with a name in tamil that possibly seems 'meyyappan' - and it also bears the location as ipoh, which is in malaysia. ('meyyappan' is a common natukkottai chettiar name and many chettiars were living in malaya/malaysia in the olden days, doing business and bringing wealth back home. )
the card at the top, as can be seen, is signed with the date of jan 14th 1954  - that is exactly 62 years before!
image source for both the above images - from here 

this one shows a rustic rural setting, with a man and woman bundling freshly harvested paddy in the fields, with other farmhands and cattle in the background. this one seems to be painted by the eminent artist k.madhavan, whose works graced many of the tamil magazines and ads of his time.

image source - from here
lastly, the two above seem to be from a three-fold card - featuring the amazingly beautiful yesteryear actress padmini, who is an evergreen favourite of tamil movie fans ! each of the panels has a different message about pongal, with photos of padmini in beautiful traditional jewellery - nethi chutti, jhimki, maatal, kal attigai and oddiyanam !

wishing everyone a very happy pongal and makar sankranti !

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