The colorful Thai Pongal Festival that pays homage to the Sun God, is celebrated by the Hindus in Sri Lanka during the 12th and 15th on the 14 of January or Thai in the Tamil calendar meaning the first month. ‘Pongal’ is a traditional sweet dish consisting, moong dhal, jaggery and milk. The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal is a thanks-giving ceremony for a successful harvest.
The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal is a thanksgiving ceremony in which the farmers celebrate the event to thank the spirits of nature spirit, the Sun and animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest.
On Thai Pongal, each family member wakes early, bathes, adorns new clothing and the family assembles to cook the traditional Pongal (rice pudding). This solemn ceremony is usually performed in the front garden on a flat square area that is decorated with beautifully complex ‘Kolam’ drawings. It is usually exposed to direct sun light while a simple fire-wood hearth using three bricks is used to cook, starting by placing a clay pot with water on the hearth.
After the meal cooked, it is served on a banana leaf after which the family prays, in thanksgiving to the Sun, nature sprit, and farmers. Special religious Pujas are held in Kovils across the country, in worship of the Sun God. Hindus would spend the evenings at various cultural events and visiting relatives.