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Jallikattu 2022: The Traditional Bull Fighting Event to be held on January 17

Shivani Meena
Shivani Meena
Jallikattu: Bull Fighting sport

Tamil Nadu, one of the world's oldest and most well-preserved cultures, has been a forerunner, with many traditions still practiced in the modern era. As a method of preserving and cultivating communal harmony and peace among the Tamils, plenty of festivals have been held for each season, reigniting the spirit of unity and togetherness. 

Jallikattu: A vibrant  Part of the annual  repertoire during Pongal 

In terms of tourism, Tamil Nadu is renowned as the Land of Temples, but agriculture is the foundation of the state, and Pongal, out of all the festivals, has a strong emotional connection with the people of Tamil Nadu. Harvest Festival is observed throughout the state, whereas Makar Sankranti is observed in other areas of India. Pongal Festival is held in mid-January, either on the 14th or 15th. But due to the surge in Covid cases, this year it will be conducted on January 17.

This is the day when the sun changes its direction and begins to move north, according to science. Farmers in Tamil Nadu thank the Sun for a bountiful harvest, and they perform specific poojas and rituals in his honor. 

The ancient event of Tamil Nadu, Jallikattu, or Bull Taming, is part of a yearly repertoire during Pongal. There have been several competing theories on this topic, but the irrefutable truth remains that Jallikattu is one of Tamilnadu's longest surviving warrior sports. 

Are you curious about the origin of the name Jallikattu? 

The name Jallikattu is a combination of two Tamil words, Sallikkasu (coins) and Kattu(a package). The warrior must successfully secure the pocket of coins tied to the bull's horns by taming the animal. This sport was once known as Yeru Thazhuudhal, and it was practiced until the time of the Nayak Rulers when the name was changed to Jallikattu. 

What happens at Jallikattu Festival? 

On the third day of the Pongal festival, Jallikattu is held, as are the festivities for a good harvest and appreciation to the Sun God for such a bountiful production. Essentially, the rural community of Tamil Nadu has a profound emotional tie with Bulls, the masters of the crop fields. Because every other house in Tamil Nadu is an agricultural household, the bulls and cows in the houses are also worshipped throughout this festival. 

This Jallikattu celebration held on open grounds throughout villages. Onlookers from neighboring communities gather on the ground. The bulls are released via a small gate known as "Vadivasal." The male players waiting outside try to grab the bull's hump, which needs a lot of courage and caution and can result in severe injuries and fatalities if not handled correctly. The person who clutches the hump and takes the pouch carrying cash or presents without sliding off the bull is considered the winner. 

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