Happy Thai Pongal!

By Nishanth

It’s 5 o clock in the morning
Everybody stop snoring
You have to get out of bed soon
And get into your costume

Not that catchy Lily Allen and T pain song, but because it’s Thai Pongal. It’s usually a very early start, before the break of dawn on Thai Pongal – a celebration of the harvest and a tribute to the sun god. This day is quite significant in the Tamil calendar and a widespread celebration in a formerly agrarian society as it coincides with the harvest. The festival usually falls anywhere between the 13th and the 15th of January.

The head of the household initiates the celebration outdoors before the break of dawn, usually  by bringing a (clay) pot of milk to boil and try time it to coincide with the sunrise. As it boils over, rice (usually from the most recent harvest) is added to the pot along with a plethora of ingredients including Jaggery, cashews, sultanas, cardamom to make a sweet rice dish known as Pongal.

Pongal is usually served with several other sweet and savory food items like Aval (crushed rice soaked in water until soft and then mixed with sugar/Jaggery and desiccated coconut), Vadai (a popular savory donut shaped treat), Sundal (tempered chickpeas with deep friend onions and red chillies) and Karumbu (a stalk of sugar cane).

From all of us at Gecko (T-Pain and Lily Allen), we wish you a very happy Thai Pongal!


About geckosrilanka

Gecko Sri Lanka is a UK registered charity founded in the aftermath of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami by a group of second generation Sri Lankan students.
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