Sri Lanka is a nation of diverse nationalities coexisting peacefully, each have their own, unique cultural celebrations that add colour and vibrancy to the Sri Lankan cultural fabric. Thai Pongal festival is a festival centered around the toiling and hard working agricultural community of our nation that continues what they do despite the insurmountable odds against them. Thai Pongal a thanksgiving festival celebrated by the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the world over, appreciating this it is declared a Public Holiday in Sri Lanka.
From time immemorial Tamils were mostly depended on an agricultural based economy and their lives were bonded closely with nature. ‘Thai’ meant a new and prosperous beginning and the dawn of the Tamil month of Thai today signifies venturing into new beginnings, taking new paths and stepping into a fresh year.
Traditionally, the Tamil farming community consider ‘Thai Pongal’ as a thanksgiving cultural event associated with Sun God, offering cooked rice pongal from newly harvested paddy from their fields. The day after Pongal Day is ‘Madu Pongal’ is a thanksgiving day for their domestic animals that help them throughout the year, in particular bulls used in ploughing the fields and cows that provide milk for the family. Further for all Tamils consider the month of ‘Thai’ as a month that signifies new beginnings to step into new journey in addition to celebrating the Thai Pongal festival.