Living in Tamil Nadu for over two decades, I realise we are more inclined in observing customs followed locally than in Andhra from where my parents came. However, after marriage I find that it's great in many ways that your spouse comes from another state, bringing in customs and traditions along. In that way I get to celebrate festivals in both ways.
In my previous company, we had holiday for both Ayudha Pooja and Vijayadasami. So the day before Ayudha Pooja, we used to have elaborate celebrations, followed by the pooja performed in the afternoon. Once pooja is done, it's customary that we do not disturb the systems/objects, which meant we get the time off after that. We found that part most interesting as we end up chatting and fooling around. On the day of the festival we celebrate at home.
Ayudha Pooja celebrations are always celebrated with much enthusiasm and joy at home. We clean and decorate the vehicles with flowers, Kunkum and Sandan. We keep lemon under each type of the vehicle and then once the archana is given, we had to run over it. It used to be fun when the lemon are not run over correctly, and slips. It's even more fun trying to catch the running lemon.
One of the customary neivedyams will be of puffed rice mixed with jaggary and fried gram mixture. Along with this, for the lunch it is always an elaborate feast that's done. For this year's pooja, I prepare Bellam Paramannam or Chakkara Pongal.
Neivethyam - Fruits, Puffed Rice, Bellamannam with flowers and Kunkum
Sakkarai Pongal | Chakkara Pongal Recipe | Bellam Paramannam
Rice - 1 cup
Bengal gram / Yellow moong dal - 1 tbsp
Jaggary - 1 & 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 tbps
Cardamon - 2
Roasted Cashew nuts & Raisins
Method to prepare:
Clean and soak rice and dal for 10 mins. Pressure cook the rice with Cardamom for 2 whistles.
Cook jaggary in water to remove impurities. Then cook on high flame till it thickens a bit.
Once the pressure is down, add the jaggary water to the rice. Pressure for another 1 whistle.
Heat a pan with 2 tbsp ghee, roast cashew nuts and raisins. Garnish to the pongal.
Bellamannam / Sakkarai Pongal is my entry for RCI : Tamil Festival.
This is also going to Vee who is hosting the The Jihva Special Edition : Festive Series.
Tomorrow will be back with details on Vijaya dashami.
Happy Vijaya Dashmi to all!