Thai Pongal – the Festival of Harvest

Thai Pongal – the Festival of Harvest

Thai Pongal – the Festival of Harvest

Written by Staff Writer

14 Jan, 2021 | 11:37 am

Colombo (News 1st); Thai Pongal is a traditional harvest festival observed by all Tamils, Hindus, and non-Hindus.

It is celebrated in India, Sri Lanka, and other parts of the world where there are Tamil communities. It falls in the month of Thai in the Tamil calendar (The tenth month in the Tamil calendar) and is held to thank the Sun God, Earth, the Rain God, other natural elements, and the cattle for a good harvest.

‘Pongal’ literally means boiling over. Sweet Pongal rice is offered to the Sun God during the Thai Pongal festival.

Thai Pongal is the only Hindu festival that follows a solar calendar (the days are fixed by the movement of the Sun) and is celebrated in mid-January each year.

Pongal is also astrologically important as it marks the start of the Sun’s journey northwards from its southernmost point.

This is known as the Uttharayana and is considered an auspicious time.

Dakshinayana is the Sun’s journey from its northernmost point southwards and this is considered inauspicious.

‘Pongal’ literally means boiling over. Sweet Pongal rice is offered to the Sun God during the Thai Pongal festival.

On Thai Pongal day, houses and places of worship are decorated with kolam or rangoli and families engage in Pongal activities.

The main food preparation is Pongal; cooking takes place outdoors in a decorated clay pot.

Ingredients are rice, milk, green gram (mung), jaggery, spices, cashew nuts, raisins and other ingredients.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his message for Thai Pongal joined the Tamil brethren to share their joy and happiness.

The President said his sole objective and that of the Government is to usher in prosperity to all Sri Lankans irrespective of racial or religious differences.

What contains in the government policy statement, Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, is the means to achieve this noble objective, he added.

“Although we differ in ethnicity, religion and language, our aspirations, hopes and dreams as Sri Lankans are similar, said Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa adding even though the country is currently facing challenging times, the government is committed to uplift the living standards of all Sri Lankan citizens and is determined to work towards overcoming these challenges together as a nation.

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