Colombo, January 14 (Xinhua): On January 14, Sri Lankan Tamils made and distributed a delicious sweetmeat called “Pongal” at the Ponnambalavaneswarar Hindu temple in the capital city of Colombo, to celebrate the harvest festival called “Thai Pongal”.
Pongal means “boiling over” or “overflowing” in Tamil, symbolizing abundance and prosperity. Early in the morning, Tamils lit small earthenware lamps and used colored rice to draw beautiful patterns on floors of living rooms or the courtyards of temples.
Together they then make a sweet treat with rice, milk, jaggery, coconut and spices, called Pongal. When the milk rice boils and overflows the jar, adults and children together chant “Pongal-o-Pongal”. The cooked Pongal is then distributed among the devotees as the sanctified “Prasadam” or offering.
People use this ceremony to pray for a bumper crop and a happy life in the new year.
Text and photos: Xinhua