Saturday, January 16, 2010
Pongal - Tamil Harvest Festival
Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festival of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu, where it is also considered the Tamil New Year. Pongal falls in the mid-January every year and marks the auspicious beginning of Uttarayan - sun's journey northwards. Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include drawing of Kolam, swinging & cooking of delicious Pongal, where newly harvested rice is ceremonially cooked in milk.
This harvest festival is also a time for communal thanksgiving, being grateful to God for all the material possessions, especially the fruits of the earth and of our labour.
As the date of cultural festival usually coincides with the Feast of Epiphany, Christians in Tamil Nadu have often made a link between both festivals. Pongal among Christians is also popularly known as the Feast of the 3 Kings (Wisemen) or Pongal Raja. The first fruits of the harvest represent the gifts that were brought by the Wisemen of the East to honour the Christ Child.
The Tamil Apostolate and Tamil speaking community of Visitation celebrates Pongal tomorrow morning at the 7.15 am Tamil mass. All are welcome to participate in this celebration as we wish our Tamil community: Pongal Vaathuggal!