Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thai Pongal - தைப்பொங்கல்

Thai Pongal

Kuru Aravinthan

Thai Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamils all over the world. It is traditionally dedicated to the Sun God, Suriyan. Tamils refer to Thai Pongal as Tamizhar Thirunal. It is a thanks giving ceremony to thank the Sun and the farm animals.

Thai Pongal itself falls on the first day of the month Thai (January 14th) of the Tamil Calendar. Generally it is celebrated by boiling rice with milk in a new pot. Pongal, also known as sweet rice is traditionally offered to the Sun God at sunrise. When the pongal is ready family members pray for a few minutes to thank the Sun God. Then the meal is served among the family members, relatives, and friends. People also visit the temple, friends and family and exchange greetings.

The day preceding Thai pongal is called Bhogi Pandigai.

Mattu Pongal (Kanu Pongal) is intended to honour the Farm animals that work hard throughout the year.

Tamils living all over the world follow their cultural values by participating in the festival. The younger generation of Tamils living all over the world also come forward to contribute to the Tamils festival. It gives a feel of their motherland and its culture.

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