Jallikattu is celebrated on the third day of Pongal, that is, Mattu Pongal. The word Jallikattu derives its name from the words ‘sallu’ and ‘kattu’ that means coins and package respectively.
This refers to the amount of the prize that is being tied to the horns of the bull. Humped cattle, or specifically the species Bos indicus is usually bred for Jallikattu. It is a tradition that has been practiced in the state of Tamil Nadu to worship the cattle.
Jallikattu is a kind of sport where a bull is allowed to release in the crowd full of people and the participants try to hold to the bull’s hump for as long as they can and try to tame it. The bulls that do well on this festival are allowed to use for breeding and also to get high prices in the market.
Various rituals during Jallikattu
- Temple bulls in a village are usually considered as the head of the cattle. These bulls from various villages are brought together to a common place where the ritual of Jallikattu takes place.
- One by one these bulls are set free in the ground full of people. The participants have to embrace and hold onto the hump of the bull and tame it properly so that the raging bull stops at a point of time. The participant rides it for as long as it is possible by clinging to its hump.
- The bulls that are easily tamed are considered to be weaker than the others. These bulls are used by the farmers for the domestic purposes. The bulls that are not easily tamed or untamable are considered to be the strongest and are used in the villages for breeding the cows.
Significance of Jallikattu
It is believed since the ancient times that Lord Shiva had asked his bull Nandi to visit earth from heaven and convey a message to the people to take oil bath everyday and eat once a month. However, Nandi conveyed a wrong message to the people and asked them to eat every day and take bath once a month. Lord Shiva got angry and as a punishment asked his bull Nandi to stay on earth and help the farmers to plough the fields to feed people every day with the crops. People of Tamil Nadu who believe in this try to tame bulls on this day.
Importance of Jallikattu
For the farmers of Tamil Nadu, Jallikattu is very important. This day they get a chance to flaunt the strength of themselves and their bulls. They show how much they love their cattle and how properly they have taken care of them. Also, this day they get a chance to find out the stronger bulls for breeding with their cows.
For the people of Tamil Nadu, Jallikattu is not a kind of leisure sport but is a tradition that brings out the best identity of the Tamils that are self-sufficient, hard working and powerful. This day also symbolizes the cordial relationship between a man and animal.
And to wish your friends and family with these pongal images during this Pongal Festival.