New Delhi: Bhogi is the first day of one of the most celebrated festivals across the country, Pongal. Also Read - Happy Pongal 2020: Here Are Best Pongal WhatsApp Messages, Greetings And SMS to Celebrate the Tamil Harvest Festival

It is a four-day-long harvest festival, and Pongal 2020 will begin on January 14 and last until January 17. The four-day celebrations witness – Bhogi Festival, Thai Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kaanum Pongal. Also Read - Pongal Festival 2020: Why is it Celebrated? Know Date, Time and Significance

This year, Bhogi 2020 falls on Jan 14, 2020, as per the Tamil Calendar. Also Read - Thousands take part in all-women Attukal Pongala festival

Also known as Pedda Panduga in a few states, this harvest festival is widely celebrated in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.  Bhogi is celebrated in honor of the Lord Indra, the God of rains and clouds and people seek his blessings for an abundant harvest and prosperity.

How is it celebrated?

To celebrate this day, people wish each other Happy Bhogi Sankranti, draw Kolam designs , exchange delicacies and welcome the blessings of Lord Indra for the great agricultural year ahead.

Primarily, Bhogi celebrations revolve around building the traditional bonfire popularly known as Bhogimantalu, wherein people come together to make the fire with wood and old things that are neglected or no longer in use, and set it ablaze on the night before Pongal.

They also burn agricultural waste in the bonfires and women decked in new clothes sing songs and make offerings to the Sun God and Mother Earth with sandalwood paste and kumkum. Burning discarded things is symbolic gesture of bidding adieu to the old and welcoming the new. Women deck up in new clothes, sing songs

Meanwhile, every year, the state government regularly launches awareness campaigns ahead of the Bhogi festival, to ensure smoke-free celebration.