Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Penang Hindus Celebrate Pongal, a “thanksgiving” festival – traditionally dedicated to the sun god for a bountiful harvest. Many people worship the sun god, Lord Surya, by offering prayers on this auspicious day.

Preparation for Pongal Festival

During Pongal, homes are cleaned, painted, and decorated with Kolam (Tamil-கோலம்). The Kolam is a drawing made in the front yards of the houses.

Hindus use chalk or rice flour, sometimes with synthetically color powders.

For festivals, more complex and colorful kolams are drawn as a mark of the festivities.

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Pongal Festival Celebration at the Temple

At the Sri Visvanather Sri Visalatchi Alayam Temple, Bayan Baru, Hindus gather at the temple dressed in their new clothes and jewelry with their clay pots ready with sugarcane arrangements.

The pots are set on top of bricks,’ and a fire is lit using firewood. Fresh milk is poured in with freshly harvested rice and set to boil.

The ritual “boiling over” until rice and milk mixture spills out of the clay pot is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to the household.

The moment the rice boils over and bubbles out of the pot, Hindus will shout.

Pongalo Ponggal!

Pongolo Ponggal!

Pongolo Ponggal!

The happy cries of Pongolo Ponggal fill the air.

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

The happy cries of Pongolo Ponggal fill the air, as people wearing their new clothes and jewelry stand outside their freshly painted homes, decorated with flowers, kolams and sugarcane arrangements crooning together as the milk rice boils over the clay pots at Sri Visvanather Sri Visalatchi Alayam Bayan Baru in George Town. Photo: R Mahgeshan.

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Photo: R Mahgeshan

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Photo: R Mahgeshan

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Photo: R Mahgeshan

Penang Hindus Celebrate Thanksgiving During Pongal Festival

Photo: R Mahgeshan

In the temples, devotees will offer prayers and chant as the rice dish is prepared for providing vegetables, sugar cane, and spices.

The devotee will cleanse themselves of past sins first.

Later the devotees will consume a vegetarian meal as a celebration of Pongal.

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