Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pongal, The Harvest Festival - 13-15 January 2009

"Pongal is the Tamil equivalent of Thanksgiving. In an -based civilization the harvest plays an important part. The farmer cultivating his land depends on cattle, timely rain and the sun. Once a year, he expresses his gratitude to these during the harvest festival. With the end of the wet month of Margazhi (mid-December to mid-January) the new Tamil month of Thae heralds a series of festivals. The first day of this month is a festival day known as "Pongal Day". Pongal means the "boiling over" of milk and rice during the month of Thai."
It was my expectation that all my neighbors' families would visit, that people would visit us, that everyoone would wear new clothes, cook pongal, decorate the pavement in front of their doors with kolams in colors, and that the cows would be decorated. Well, first of all, it rained, no one came to visit, except the children next door who are always at our house. No one made their kolam with colored powder. I saw no new clothes. I had a new outfit I had never worn because I thought it was too fancy (velvet), so I wore that. The children's mother, Shemi, made payasam (a sweet holiday dish) for us using a sugar substitute out of respect for my diabetes AND she brought over vegetable biriyani and tomato/onion curd. Yum! It was a generous amount, too. I was so grateful. It was delicious.
The cows that usually graze on our lawn haven't been here for a couple days, so I took my camera into town today in search of decorated cows. I found some!

My fancy new outfit

My friend, Atul, overlooking my Pongal kolam
Pongal kolams in town
Cows decorated for Pongal

1 comment:

Suzie said...

I like your fancy velvet dress. what a pretty color and fabric. And the cows are too cute, too!