Thai Pongal. (The Festival of Harvest)

Thai Pongal. (The Festival of Harvest)

Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians are among the different ethnic gatherings that make up Sri Lanka. To be sure, it is with their variegated shades that the Sri Lankan culture gets shaped. Buddhists make up 70% of Sri Lanka’s 20 million populace while Tamils make up around 13%. Nonetheless, as a nation of different ethnic gatherings, the nation is bound to praise a few celebrations. Besides, among the fluctuating celebrations that Sri Lankans observe, Thai Pongal holds a critical spot. Tamils observe Thai Pongal as the absolute first celebration of the year. Also, the Tamils in India, Sri Lanka, and different regions of the planet where Tamil residents live commend this celebration astonishingly. Likewise, South India’s multi-day gather celebration happens in the second week of January. Thai Pongal Festivities in Sri Lanka The festival of Thai Pongal is noticeable in the North, East, Focal Slope Nation and other regions where Hindus reside in Sri Lanka. Thai Pongal joins Tamils all over Sri Lanka in a committed petition of thanksgiving for a plentiful gather. The Tamils honor the Sun God (Surya) during this celebration. Also, ranchers love the sun on this extraordinary day and they partake in the gather, the whole year. Despite the fact that the Thai Pongal Celebration is praised terrifically including Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, Mattu Pongal and Kanum Pongal in India, which keep going for four days, in Sri Lanka Thai Pongal Celebration is restricted to a two-day festivity.
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Thai Pongal. Milk is allowed to boil over to suggest the overflowing of good fortune following a good harvest. Photo.Ajith Perera. Xinhua

Meaning of Thai Pongal

Apparently, ranchers who depend on Mother Earth, the sun, downpour, other normal components, cows furthermore, bison for a plentiful gather of their staple food; rice, commend this celebration. It is a time when poor people, the affluent, the workers, and the city tenants all offer gratitude to the divine beings and love the sun, the earth, the dairy cattle, and their overflow with appreciation. Those who don’t live in agrarian networks can go to the celebration to communicate their gratitude to the ranchers for giving food to their endurance. Also, Tamils observe Thai Pongal on the 10th month of the Tamil schedule, known as the ‘Thai’ month. The main Hindu celebration that follows a sun-oriented schedule is Thai Pongal, which happens in mid-January every year. Pongal is a Sanskrit expression that signifies “boilingover.” During the Thai Pongal celebration, Tamils offer sweet Pongal rice to the Sun God.

Astrological Significance

 Obviously, Thai Pongal is significant not mysteriously as well. The explanation is, as indicated by Uththarayana, this period denotes the start of the Sun’s toward the north excursion from its southern most point. In any case, as per Tamils, this period is propitious. Moreover, the Sun’s way from its northernmost highlight its southernmost point, alluded to as Dakshinayana, is unfavorable. Hindus heat up another dirt pot of milk to check the start of the festivities. Besides, they consider it as an indication of favorable luck when the milk boils over, getting the reference to ‘Pongal’.

 The Historical backdrop of Thai Pongal

Especially, an engraving in the ‘Veeraraghava’ sanctuary devoted to Vishnu in ‘Thiruvallur’, Chennai, portrays the Pongal celebration. The engraving, credited to Chola Lord Kulottunga I (1070 – 1122 CE), portrays a conceding of land to the sanctuary for the yearly Pongal festivals.’Manikkavachakar’ likewise specifies the celebration in the 10th century Shiva bhakti text ‘Tiruvembavai’. Besides, the following of the past of the Pongal dish in a merry and religious sense can return to basically the Chola time frame, as per Andrea Gutierrez, a scholar of Sanskrit and Tamil practices.

A few texts and engravings, discusses it with different spellings, as ponakam, tiruponakam, ponkal, and other related words in early records. The additional variations of the words ponakam and ponkal referees to the merry pongal dish as prasadam or the pongal dish as a feature of the entire thali (presently alankaranaivedya). These were important for the charitable gifts, served by free local area kitchens in Hindu sanctuaries in Tamil Nādu and Andhra Pradesh, either as celebration food or proposed to travelers day to day.

The Four Primary Pongal Festivities

Tamil people group all over the planet solely observe Pongal and especially in India, as Tamil Nadu thinks of it as a ‘State Celebration’. Not at all like in that frame of mind, in Tamil Nadu, Pongal festivities go on in the first four days of the month Thai, including a couple of celebrations. Below are brief depictions of the festivals.

  1. Bhogi Pongal

It is the first day of the festival before the Thai Pongal celebration, which is a day off easting and cheer. It is the ideal opportunity for the old materials to give approach to the new material. Traditionally, Tamils light enormous bonfires, and each of the undesirable things in the house are put into the flames. Ceremonially, Tamils break all old dirt utensils and ask potters to supply new stock. With the presentation of plastics and steel, this ceremonial has taken on particular importance. Besides, Tamils prepare their homes with game plans for the pooja on the following day. They brighten their homes with banana and mango leaves, wreaths of flowers and kolam or rangoli.

  1. Surya Pongal

Surya Pongal is the day committed to the Hindu god Surya, and furthermore known as Suryan Pongal or Perum Pongal. Notwithstanding, Surya Pongal is the second and the most important festival day. It is the first day of the Tamil schedule month Thai, which falls on the equivalent day as Makara Sankranthi, India’s colder time of year reap celebration. As the celebration day draws near, each Security Terms home’s inside is showered with turmeric water (which has sanitizer properties). Moreover, the family assembles before the fundamental entry, where a square region on the floor is sorted out for them to make a Kolam embellishment. This beautiful example made of colored rice flour depicts celebration related subjects. Tamils organize each of the things of the Pongal proposing to the Sun, around it prepared to offer as the Dawns, which is the reason they place it in direct daylight. Surya Pongal respects the Sun Surya and his two consorts Chaya and Samgnya.

Delectable Pongal Clay Pot

Besides, a dirt pot is painted and ready for the fundamental job it will play in the festivities. Tamils put it on an impermanent hearth made of three blocks and spot it in the offering region. Likewise, when the milk in the pot bubbles over, they add rice, jaggery, raisins, cashew nuts, and mung dhal to make the delicious Pongal and they divide it between family and visitors.

Preparing Traditional Pongal

 The customary Pongal spread likewise incorporates an assortment of flavorful and sweetmeats such asvadai, murukku, and payasam. Tamils set them up as per recipes passed down through ages.

Other Devotional Activities

On this day, Tamils sing Pajans alongside morning exercises (reflection melodies), and the rest of the day is enjoyed in solidarity with family, associates, and companions in the wake of visiting the Kovil (Temple) where more petitions of thanksgiving occur.

  1. Mattu Pongal

This is the second day of Thai Pongal, otherwise called Patti Pongal. Tamils commit this celebration to castles. Cattles assume a significant part in horticulture and cultivating by providing dairy items and manure, as well as loaning their ability to furrowing and transporting merchandise by drawing trucks. The day goes about as an appreciation for their persistent effort, as well as a solicitation that they keep on doing as such, all through the impending developing season. Tamils honor these magnificent animals by enhancing their necks with laurels and adding Kungumam (kumkum) to their brows. Besides, Tamils feed them a special festive combination of venn pongal, sugar, jaggery, banana, and different organic products.

Encounter with Cows and Bulls

Tamils improve the cow’s excellence in specific wPongal Encounter with Cowsays, by washing them and painting their horn sin splendid varieties. During the day, agreeable challenges between the town cows and young men occur. They attach cash to the horns of bulls. Afterward, the young fellows pursue, get and tame these fierce bulls and take the cash. Tamils have faith in bringing man and beast together out of a sense of harmony and honor.



Spiritual Performance

Moreover, the day is saved for a custom visit to nearby sanctuaries and supplications. Sanctuaries and societies direct parades in which symbols march in wooden chariots from the temple’s sanctum. In addition, show dance exhibitions that advance get-togethers and the renewal of social bonds happens on this day.

  1. Kanum Pongal

The fourth and the last day of the celebration is Kanum Pongal. Kanum Pongal marks the conclusion of the Pongal celebrations for the year. In this sense, the word kanum (kaanum) Protection – Terms

signifies, “to visit.” Specifically, on this day, numerous families get together for reunions. To reinforce shared relations, social orders plan social exercises. During social gatherings, villagers cut and eat ranch new sugarcanes. Besides, families, colleagues, and neighbors come to welcome, while kids go out to offer appreciation and look for blessings from seniors among their family members and neighbors. A few older folks give visiting children pocket cash as a gift.

Customs of Thai Pongal

On Thai Pongal, Tamils use kolam or rangoli to decorate homes and places of love, and families partake in Pongal occasions. In addition, their ceremonies and customs further enhance the joy of this festival. Underneath segments further portray the practices of Thai Pongal and their significance.

The Arrangement of Pongal

Pongal is the conventional dish of the celebration, happens outside, in an enlivened mud pot. Rice, milk, green gram (mung), jaggery, flavors, cashew nuts, raisins, and other ingredient sare among the prerequisites of the Pongal dish. Tamils blow a horn called sanggu as the rice begins to cook, and the members yell pongalo, and that implies the pot is over flowing. Moreover, they serenade the words in Tamil as, ‘Thai pirandhal vazhi pirakkum’. It implies the beginning of the long stretch of Thai clears a path for new open doors.

The Sun God; otherwise called ‘Surya’ gets the first offering. Tamils serve Pongal rice with fruits, for example, mangoes and bananas. The family would then eat their Pongal on banana leaves involving them as plates and divide them between family members, companions, and neighbors. They offer the first dish to the divine beings and goddesses (Goddess Pongal). Afterward, they offer it to the cows. Besides, the whole family accumulates to participate in the celebrations.

Tamils decorate Cows and their horns, perform stylized washing, and direct processions as part of the celebrations. Be that as it may, this is a period for relatives to embellish rice-powder-based kolams, offer petitions at home and in sanctuaries and to trade gifts among family, companions and neighbors.

Extraordinary Pongal Customs in Sri Lanka

Despite the fact that, Sri Lankan Tamil’s starting point from India, their practice and customs have flavors of their own. To be specific, in Sri Lanka, the manner in which Tamil residents observe Thai Pongal Day is different from how different nations celebrate it. Numerous Sri Lankan Tamils, keep Thai Pongal as a two-day festivity, and the island has even shaped a few unmistakable traditions. Moreover, there are many fascinating celebrations and heavenly food to appreciate. The following segments will additionally demonstrate the extraordinary shades of the Sri Lankan Thai Pongal celebrations exhaustively!

Food and Refreshments

Sri Lankans set up a sweet rice dinner on the first day, committed to the sun god, and then consumed by families during bubbly feasts. Tamils bubble rice, flavors, raisins, cashews, and other fixings together in milk. Cooking should happen outside in the daylight, usually on a yard or in a patio. They use cooking pots made of mud which has vivid and attractive plans on them. Tamils serve the final dish which can be either sweet or savory, on banana leaves.

Beside the merry unique Pongal rice, a couple of additional dishes made by the Tamils add flavor to the celebration. Out of which are, Kokis; a fresh roll produced using rice flour and coconut milk, Watalappam; a steamed pudding containing coconut milk, Thala Guli; a dessert made of ground sesame seeds, coconut and jaggery, and milk toffee, another dessert made of consolidated milk, cumin, and cashew nuts.

Treating the Cattles

The custom of regarding the dairy cattle who help ranchers by working in their rice fields, takes place on the second day of the merriments. Furthermore, cows who give work, are a major source of abundance for some individuals in Sri Lanka. They give milk, compost, and transportation. They give the creatures an intensive shower. Going past, they hang beautiful garlands around their necks and on their horns on this “day of steers.”

Events and Decorations

Different occasions incorporate fi improve shows, customary melodies, and dance. By and large, these social gatherings last all the way into the evening. During Thai Pongal, Sri Lankans can observer particular streets with flawlessly brightened homes. Tamil premises decked out with colorful patterns made with shaded rice flour and different items, while improvements on floors are visible with banana and mango tree leaves.

The Bottom Line

For sure, every one of the above realities plainly depict that Thai Pongal is a day that Tamils and Hindus celebrate in a lovely, flavorful and happy way. Additionally, the rich qualities it brings out most likely upgrades the wonderful qualities of this exquisite celebration in stupendous scale. Thus, by some coincidence, if you are truly wanting to show up on this magnificent island, we propose to you that the month of January, is one of the best times to visit Sri Lanka. Seeing the brilliant merriment of the Thai Pongal celebration in Sri Lanka, partaking in a plate of desserts and noticing the glory of the staggering beautifications of Tamils will surely offer you recollections that could only be described as epic. So, what would you say you are sitting tight for? Make a stride ahead, and plan your next excursion in Sri Lanka. Happy and Safe Voyaging!;

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