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Pongalo Pongal 2015!

Vinod Rai Sharma | January 16, 2015

Indian Festivals  

Thai Pongal, or (Pongal as it’s known in short) is the harvest festival, that falls in the beginning of the Tamil month Thai. Literally meaning abundance in the Tamil language, it is to give thanks to Surya, the sun god for providing energy for farming and also lends its name to the rice and milk dish that is cooked during the festival. It takes place over 4 days, starting with Bhogi, when old possessions are discarded to welcome the new and ends off with Kaanum Pongal, where family visit each other. Thai Pongal is celebrated the day after Bhogi. Mattu Pongal, where cows are worshipped to give thanks for their role in farming, takes place on the third day.

Celebrated by Tamils around the world, here’s a glimpse of how it was celebrated in Singapore in 2015.

Pongal Photo Diary 2015

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What’s that you say? The celebrations attract a healthy and ever-growing crowd each year in Little India Singapore.

 

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Little India Singapore gets decked out once again for the celebration.

 

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Bring out the bells…

 

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…those bright garlands (some of which are offered to cows as thanks)…

 

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…hang those pots…

 

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and bring the rest home for some cookin’! (Cooking usually begins with a clay pot filled with water on a fire hearth)

 

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The festival is a time for celebration (In Singapore, it is also celebrated with shows put on in Little India)…

 

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…with your family ( during Kaanum Pongal, families get together – forgetting enmity and renewing relationships and bonds)…

 

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…your friends (some of whom put up performances for the celebration in Singapore)…

 

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and your very unimpressed pets. Especially if you’re a cow being worshipped during Mattu Pongal.

 

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(But really, it’s ALWAYS about the food)

 

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The colourful street decorations that stretch across Serangoon Rd add colour to the festival.

 

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PS: don’t forget your smile!

In other parts of India, this day is celebrated as Makar Sankaranthi, a winter harvest festival, to mark the Indic solstice. Kites are flown to to celebrate the coming of spring.

Regardless of when the festival is celebrated, Pongal has become a staple South Indian breakfast dish (learn how to make it). Usually, served with sambhar, chutney and vadai, you can find it at any South Indian tiffin room, available throughout the year!

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Vinod Rai Sharma

Vinod Rai Sharma is one man whose life is intimately connected with photography. He is the founder of Nin9 Photography . His eyes are his lens and his lens the extension of his vision. Each moment captured is like painting a picture and every picture is a story that resonates passion. His journey is a quest to infect the world with joy, light and happiness. Other articles by this author

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