Thai (January) is the tenth month of the “Solar Calendar” followed by Hindus & Buddhists and the first day of January in the Julian calendar. It marks the first day of the sun’s transit into Capricorn in astrology, marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. For Tamils, January is a month of celebration as now is the time to put changes into practise and celebrate new beginnings. Tamils also have a popular saying “a way-forward will appear with the advent of the month of Thai” giving us all hope for the future.
What is Pongal?
Thai Pongal is an important festival for Tamils around the world. This harvest festival is held in honour of the farmers, the cattle that plough the fields, the sun and timely rains that are integral to our harvests. The term pongal means ‘to boil’ in Tamil and is also the name of a popular dish made of sweetened boiled rice and lentils to be consumed during the festival.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the celebration of Pongal, read on to find out more!
Bhogi Pandal takes place the day before Pongal and is the last day of the year, signifying new beginnings. On Bhogi Pongal many discard old belongings, lighting a bonfire to dispose of them. Houses are also cleaned, painted and decorated to celebrate the festivities!
On Pongal Day every household will cook up a large earth pot of sweet rice pudding called Pongal made with newly harvested rice. Pongal is traditionally made at the crack of dawn, paying homage to the Sun God. Pongal is also referred to as “Makara Sankranti” and is celebrated throughout South Asia.
The day after Pongal is Mattu Pongal which pays homage to the bulls and cows. The cattle are adorned with a garland and a special Pongal dish is cooked for them.
Expressing our gratitude
Here at Ruby’s Events Catering, many of our team celebrate Pongal. We wanted to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the farmers, natural resources and cattle that make it possible for us to be cooking up our authentic Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine. If you’re celebrating with family at home this year and are looking for authentic Sri Lankan catering to make the occasion extra special, please get in touch.
Finally, as we move into the first month of the Julian calendar, we wish you a happy, prosperous and healthy year to come!
The Rubys Events Catering team.
14 January 2021