- Jallikattu or Sallikkattu is a traditional bull-taming event in Tamil Nadu.
- It has traditionally been part of Pongal festival.
- It is celebrated on Mattu Pongal day, which occurs annually in January.
- The event is also known as eru thazhuvuthal and mañcuvirattu.
- Bulls, primarily, used in the event are the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds.
How Jallikattu is played?
- A bull is released into a crowd of people.
- Participants of the event attempt to grab the large hump on the bull’s back with both arms and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape.
- They hold the hump for as long as possible, attempting to bring the bull to a stop.
- In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags on the bull’s horns.
Significance of the event
- The festival is a celebration of nature, and thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest, of which cattle-worship is part.
- A reference to bull taming is found in a seal discovered at Mohenjo-Daro, which is dated between 2,500 BC and 1,800 BC.
- There are references to Jallikattu in Sangam literature.
- January, 2022: With a steep rise in the daily cases of COVID-19, the district administration in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet and Tirupattur, have banned the conduct of Jallikattu events, ahead of Pongal festival, as part of safety measures.