Thai Pongal, the thanksgiving celebration of Hindus | Sunday Observer

Thai Pongal, the thanksgiving celebration of Hindus

The traditional kumbham pot
The traditional kumbham pot

Thai Pongal is the celebration of the Hindus where they thank the sun god and the cattle for their contribution in the bountiful harvest received throughout the year. Here the Sunday Observer records how residents in Meesalai in Jaffna celebrated the festival.

The preparations starting at pre-dawn begin with house-cleaning and setting a designated area in front of the house for the celebration. Thereafter, cowdung is applied on this area, and kolam (traditional designs) are drawn using milled rice flour. Milk is then boiled to welcome the sun at dawn and Pongal rice cooked. After worshiping the sun, the family partakes in traditional food cooked with the new harvest.

The day after Thai Pongal is Mattu Pongal. Cleaning the cattlesheds, bathing the cattle, adorning them in traditional sandalwood and kumkum and feeeding them a Pongal meal take place on this day.