Chennai: Despite a significant spike in Coronavirus cases and vaccine approval in the country, the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday gave nod to hold the Jallikattu – the popular bull taming sport of the state – during the harvest festival of Pongal in January 2021. However, the Edappadi Palaniswami-led government has made it for everyone to strictly follow guidelines imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. ALSO READ | Night Curfew Imposed In Karnataka From 10 PM To 6 AM Until January 2, 2021
Under the guidelines, a maximum of 300 participants would only be allowed for Jallikattu and 150 for ‘Erudhu Vidum Nigazhchi’, another variety of the sport.
As per the advisory issued by state government, the Jallikattu event will held with 50 per cent audience and it will necessary for all participants to have Covid-19 negative certificate.
A detailed Standard Operating Procedure for the conduct of the sport in January 2021 would be issued separately.
Here’s the SOPs issued by the Tamil Nadu government:
* All participants must undergo the Covid-19 test at a government laboratory and produce a negative certificate. There are 235 COVID laboratories in Tamil Nadu.
* Spectators shall be subjected to thermal scanning before entry into the open spaces earmarked for the events and they must follow requisite social distancing and wear masks.
* Spectators cannot exceed more than 50 per cent of the capacity for the premises so that social distancing norms could be followed. It is also mandatory for all viewers to weak masks.
The sport is traditionally held coinciding with ‘Pongal’, the harvest festival in the Tamil month of ‘Thai’ in January. Alanganallur and Palamedu are among the regions in Tamil Nadu that have been hosting the events for ages.
Meanwhile, Pongal festival is celebrated to thank rain/sun Gods and farm animals on the first day of Tamil month Thai.
Every year, several people gets injured during the in the bull taming sport of Jallikattu. A bull tamer has to hang on the bull’s hump for some minutes in order to claim the prize that ranges between gold and silver coins, household articles, and consumer durables.
Across the state people got up early, put on new clothes and offered special prayers at temples. At homes at the auspicious time children beating a small drum shouted ‘Pongolo Pongal’, ‘Pongolo Pongal’ when the milk started boiling over the pot as a part of preparing ‘Chakarai Pongal’ the special dish of the festival.
In some homes conches are blown prior to the formal offering. When the milk boils over, other ingredients – rice, jaggery, Bengal gram – are added to the milk and finally ghee fried cashews, almonds and cardamom are also added. The pleasant aroma filled the homes making people salivate for the dish.