Avaniapuram jallikattu goes underway in Madurai for Pongal

People try to take control of a bull as they participate in the 'Jallikattu' event as part of 'Pongal' celebrations, at Avaniyapuram in Madurai district, Monday, Jan. 15, 2023. Photo: PTI

Tamil Nadu's traditional bull-taming sport jallikattu, which is played in the state during the Pongal festival, began today in Avaniyapuram village in the state. The three-day festival scores of eager tamers trying to subdue charging bulls by latching on to their hump. The event will be held in Palamedu on the second day and Alanganallur on the third. Around 2,400 bulls and 1,318 tamers registered for the first day, while 3,677 bulls and 1,412 tamers will participate in the Palamedu Jallikattu and 6,099 bulls and 1,784 tamers for the Alanganallur event.

Though it was expected that the event would be held in the newly-built Madurai Jallikattu stadium this year, the authorities decided against it this time. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin will inaugurate the stadium, built near Alanganallur on January 23. It is named after TN's former chief minister M Karunanidhi. It has a seating capacity of more than 5,000 people and has facilities like seating areas for players, spectators, media, a health support center, a bull shed, a museum, VIP seating, and a veterinary dispensary.

Meanwhile, the harvest festival Pongal was celebrated across Tamil Nadu on Monday, with grand festivities ushering in the Tamil month 'Thai.' People across the state ushered in the auspicious Tamil month 'Thai,' preparing the sweet dish 'Pongal,' made of rice and jaggery to symbolise prosperity. Many houses were decorated on the occasion and people attired in new dress celebrated the festival with much joy and fervour.
(With inputs from PTI)

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