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Remembering the brothers

The third day of the three-day festival is Kanu Pongal. It is predominantly a women's festival where they visit their mother's home for lunch. Attired in new sarees, the women eagerly look forward to be with their parents.

A special feature of this kanu festival is kanu pidi. This is done for the wellbeing of their brothers. Brothers, on their part, gift their sisters with money or dresses.

What is kanu pidi?

Rice balls of four different colours is made into four little balls. The colours may vary according to different households. Plain rice is white in color - white, the previous day's chakkara pongal, turmeric powder rice – yellow, and red rice made by adding chunam are the standard colours. The balls are kept on turmeric and ginger leaves at the backyard of the house.

An elderly woman would roll the rice balls and hand them over to the women who keep it on the leaves saying - Kakka pidi vechen kanu pidi vechen kakaikum kuruvikkum   kalyanam.

They seek the blessings of the elders after this. It is believed that keeping this will protect their brothers. The crows, squirrels and sparrows taste the food.

In some temples, the goddess goes out on a procession and keeps kanu pidi on the riverbanks.

A delicious spread follows this activity. Variety rice - puliyogere, coconut rice, sambar rice and curd rice are prepared. Appalams and vathal and avial are made as side dish.   Rasam is not prepared on this day.

Happiness, joy and fervour permeates every household. It is also establishes a special bonding between siblings. For many, it is family reunion.

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