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Pongal

  1. Michael Filippone
  2. Friday, October 26th, 2012

Pongal

Credit:Photo courtesy of Singapore Tourism Board

Pongal

Bhogi Pongal is the first day of the Indian Harvest festival known as Pongal. It is spent spring cleaning and discarding old belongings to usher in a new beginning.

On the second day, Hindu homes start the day with the preparation of the sweet delicacy known as pongal : milk, sugar and rice are boiled together to make a sweet sticky rice mixture. It is cooked together a pot bought especially for the occasion that is presented as an offering to the Gods in return for their blessings. Families traditionally visit friends, relatives and neighbors on this day to celebrate Pongal.

On the third day – Mattu Pongal – rituals and activities are dedicated to honouring the cattle. Cows are considered sacred in Indian culture. They are honored on this day because of their traditional role in ploughing the fields and providing milk for the household. They are bathed, their horns painted and flower garlands , multi-coloured beads, and bells get tied around their necks. The fourth and final day , Kaanum Pongal, is for younger members of the family to pay respect to their elder relatives.

Pongal.

Michael Filippone

About the Author: Michael Filippone

Michael Filippone has traveled throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia. Each year he travels several hundred thousand miles. He regularly visits Singapore for business and has a great love of the Orient.

His favorite things are morning runs in big cities and getting lost. He has a great passion for all things that are water-sport related: paddle surfing, surfing, free diving, fishing, rowing… Here you will find his musings on everything from where to go get lost on a jungle adventure to a road-trip in Thailand to a romantic cruise weaving through the Indonesian archipelago. Here too are hand-selected articles penned for him by writers he likes on the best places to go from Singapore. As well as being one of the key drivers behind setting up Singapore.com, he runs and part-owns Asia.com – a travel site on all things happening in the wider region. Michael is known to be fond of skipping rope and other than the odd beer, his preferred beverage is coconut water. He loves to fish and play volleyball with his children. He trained as an Olympic rower and loves to see his children find their way in sports and life.

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