Pongal is now a Compulsory Holiday, says Centre
The Central government on Tuesday, January 10, declared Pongal as a compulsory holiday after the issue was raised by many angry politicians and the general public. Earlier, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday requesting that Pongal be included in the list of Compulsory Holidays to be observed by all Central Government Administrative offices in Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Panneerselvam requested that just as the Government of India’s Circular relating to list of 12 optional holidays from which three are to be selected includes an ‘Additional day for Dusshera’, an ‘Additional day for Pongal’ may also be included in the list of optional holidays. “This apparent diminution in the importance accorded to Pongal for the past several years has created disquiet and an impression that an important people’s festival of Tamil Nadu has been ignored by the Central Government,” Mr. Panneerselvam contended.
Pongal, the prominent harvest festival of Tamil Nadu, is a social festival that transcended all religions and a number of social, recreational and sporting events including jallikattu were organised along with Pongal festivities, which usually last for three or four days, he said. For the State Government, the holidays start from January 14 and last till January 16, which is Uzhavar Tirunal (Farmers Day).
Source: from the web