pongal is a four-day affair. The first day, Bhogi, is celebrated on the last day of the month of Margazhi. On this day, people decorate their homes. New vessels are bought and old and unwanted things burnt. Scholars have often compared Bhogi to the indra Vizha celebrated by the Chola kings at Kaveripattinam, also known as Poompuhar. indra Vizha was celebrated in honour of Lord Indra, also called Bhogi, the god of thunder and rain.
The second day is Perum pongal, the most important. It is also called Surya pongal because people worship Surya, the sun god and his consorts, Chaya and Samgnya. women decorate the central courtyard of their homes with beautiful kolams, done with rice flour and bordered with red clay.
The third day is Mattu pongal, celebrated to glorify cattle that help farmers in a myriad ways. On this day, the cows are bathed and decorated with vermilion and garlands and fed. In certain villages in southern tamilnadu, a bullfight called manji-virattu is held in the evening. The last day is Kaanum Pongal. It is that part of the festival when families used to gather on the riverbanks and have a sumptuous meal (kootanchoru).