Pongal is the harvest festival of Tamilnadu. People extend their tribute to the Sun, Nature and the cattle wealth for helping them with a rich harvest and prosperity. The traditional preparation of 'Pongal' i e boiling rice with jaggery and milk, takes place at every home. The tourist offfices will organise celebrations for the benefit of foreign and domestic tourists.
Celebrated in the month of April in Madurai, 500 kms from Chennai. The festival starts from the Tamil month - Chithirai, and goes on for ten days . The highlight is the procession of Lord "Kallazhagar" ( Lord Vishnu ) the elder brother of goddess Meenakshi, who proceeds from his abode - Azhagarmalai 30 kms from Madurai, to give away his sister in marriage to Lord Sundareshwar. The celebration is filled with pomp and festivity. The " Kallazhagar " entering the river Vaigai is indeed a spectacular sight.
This festival is organised in the month of February-March at Chidambaram. The festival starts from the day of Mahashivaratri, and continues for next 4 days. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Nataraja is a cosmic dancer and is called the Lord of dances. This is an opportunity for all dancers, from all the parts of India, to perform and to pay their tribute to Lord Nataraja.
In the month of January, the Tourist festival is celebrated in Chennai. A TTDC Trade Fair is also organised during the festival. The exhibition introduces you to Tamil Nadu, cultural wealth, places of tourist interest, econemic scenario and much more.
Organised at Mamallapuram during the month of December-February, the Dance festival starts on the 25th of December of every year and is conducted on all Saturdays, Sundays and Government holidays, upto February first week. Dancers and musician of repute from India and abroad entertain the crowds gathered here. Folk dances of India are other added attractions at the festival.
Tea & Tourism Festival
Organised in the last week of January at Ooty, this 3-day festival has varieties of tea on display. Also available for tasting. Cultural extravaganzas, Cuisines of the South and the pleasant climate adds more flavour to the festival.
The Summer Festival is conducted in the month of May-June at Ooty, Kodaikkanal, Yercaud, Elagiri Hills, all of which are beautiful Hill Stations in Tamil Nadu. Cultural programmes, adventure sports, boat races, flower shows and fruits shows add to the splendour.