Pongal is an important harvest festival of Tamil Nadu and Kaanum Pongal is celebrated as the last and fourth day of the Pongal festivities. The celebrations of Pongal come to an end with Kaanum Pongal. Kaanum Pongal is an ancient festival for the Tamils and it is celebrated on the third day of month of ‘Thai’ in the Tamil calendar. Kaanum Pongal is also acknowledged as ‘Thiruvalluvar Day’ in remembrance of the great Tamil philosopher and poet named ‘Thiruvalluvar’. Kaanum Pongal is the day of relaxation and enjoyment and people spend time by socializing or visiting each other’s house. In Andhra Pradesh Kaanum Pongal is celebrated as ‘Mukkanuma’ and is observed by worshipping cattle.
During Kanumu, blessings are received from elders. In Tamil Nadu, this day is also known as Virgin Pongal and is celebrated by unmarried girls by playing in the river and making pongal and eating it there. It’s customary for locals to give new clothes and money to the maids and servants employed in the house.
Kaanum is also the Tamil version of brother’s day. On this day, the women folk offer different kinds of rice to birds and pray for the well-being of their brothers. This ritual is called “Kanu”. Sisters visit their brothers and inquire about their welfare. Women eat the previous day’s food and pray for their brother’s prosperity and health.
Being the last day of Pongal, the farmer’s rest and celebrate this day in high spirit. People worship their ancestors and venerate their elders. It is the time for relaxing after the 3 days of festivities. People go out along with family and friends and have a nice day of outing. In the villages, the shop owners or employers of firms give benevolent gifts to their employees as a token of gratitude for their good work all through the year.