The festival of Pongal observes various cultural programmes being organised at social gatherings where Tamil folk dances are the prime attractions. Some of the popular dances performed during Pongal are Kummi Dance, Karagaattam Dance, Kali Attam Dance, Mayil Attam Dance, Oyil Kummi Dance, and Puli Attam Dance, amongst others.
Kummi Dance -
It is one of the ancient dances of Tamil Nadu that is believed to have originated when no musical instruments existed. The dance is always based on a central theme and requires five or more women. They form a circular pattern and start clapping their hands and dancing on the song being sung. The song being sung uses local words, and the first line is sung by the lady who leads the dance, followed by the other participants.
Karagaattam Dance -
This folk dance involves balancing of clay or metal pots on the dancer’s head. The pots are decorated with flowers, and the dance is mainly performed to worship the Rain God.
Kali Attam -
Kali Attam is a highly energetic dance form involving one foot long sticks (kol) being held in each hand and beaten to make a sharp, rasping sound as the dance proceeds with twists and complex turns. The dancer needs to be quick, alert, and careful not to hurt the other dancers by the swinging 'kol'.