The four-day Hindu festival thanking rain, sun and farm animals is a mini Diwali in Tamil Nadu - minus the crackers.
People across the state got up early in the morning, put on new clothes, and went to temples, where special prayers were held.
The aroma of ghee and fried cashew wafted through the homes as people cooked the traditional dishes. The main dish - Chakarai Pongal - is made with rice, jaggery and Bengal gram, all boiled in milk.
People called out aloud 'Pongolo Pongal, Pongolo Pongal' when raw rice and Bengal gram was added to the milk that was about to boil over.
The increase in price of jaggery, ghee and pulses in the recent times did not deter the people from cooking Chakarai Pongal.
However, homemaker Revathi Vasan said: "The prices of fruits and flowers have shot up to the sky. As a result we buy fruits in small quantities mainly to offer to the God."
Chennai: The Tamil harvest festival Pongal was celebrated with traditional fervour Thursday.
First Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010, 11:05