Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamils across the world and also by the Chitty in Malaysia. Pongal in Tamil means “boiling over or spill over”. The main ceremony of the festival is letting rice boil over with milk in a clay pot. This symbolises future prosperity for the family. Traditionally, Pongal is celebrated during harvest time, by thanking the sun god, rain and the farm animals that help them in the harvest. It is celebrated over a four day period. The second day is the main day, where the ‘sarkkarai ponggal’ dish is boiled with fresh milk in new pots. The moment the rice boils over and bubbles out of the clay pot, Hindus shout “Ponggalo Pongal”. It is considered a good sign to watch mixture boil over, since it means good luck and prosperity. Hindus wear new clothes during this festival. Pongal is celebrated throughout the world, usually in mid January. In 2008 I was fortunate to be invited for the complete four-day event in Kampung Chitty in Malacca Malaysia. It was difficult to select one photograph from the main day’s events, however I chose this one as not only is it different to the ‘generic Pongal photos’, it highlights instilling good family values and reminds me of the wonderful day I had through the generosity of the people who invited me into their homes. To all of them – Happy Pongol 2013.
Photograph taken with Nikon D100 & 24-70mm lens @ 24mm on 14th January 2008.