Thai Pongal

Thai Pongal Image
Pongal Dates
Year Date
2017 January 13-16
2018 January 13-16
2019 January 14-17
2020 January 15-18


Thai Pongal is the 'Thanksgiving' ceremony celebrated by the Tamilians of India and Sri Lanka. They thank the Sun God, the nature and the farming animals for helping them in bringing good harvest. Since the Tamil society is predominantly agrarian, Pongal is celebrated with great fervor. 

The first produce of the season is offered to the deity as a gesture of gratitude. On the day, a pot of rice is cooked at the front entrance and is then offered to the God and the farming animals. It is one of the most popular harvest festivals of the region. 

The day of the celebration coincides with the day of the Indian winter solstice when the sun starts its journey towards north. According to the Tamil calendar the 1st day of the tenth month of Thai is when the festival is normally celebrated .

The Celebration

On Pongal people greet each other with "Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum" which means "the commencement of Thai paves the way for new opportunities".

  • Tamilians perform 'Surya Mangalyam' to praise the Sun God and offer him an oblation of the first grain. A general sense of merriment prevails all over and the entire family comes together to celebrate the event. They greet each other with the cheerful cry of "Pongal O'Pongal".
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  • A dish of rice, daal and sugar is prepared, which is called Pongal as well. It is from this dish that the name of the festival has originated. A variety of Pongal dishes are prepared such as "Ven pongal, where 'Ven' means white; "Chakrai Pongal" a sweet Pongal prepared with lentil and jaggery. Pongal is often enjoyed with aubergine, sambar, vada, idli and chutney. 
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  • On the festival day the revelers perform a ritual of early morning oil bath. They adorn their houses with 'Kolam' to usher good fortune.
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  • The first day (January 14, 2017) of Thai Pongal is called Bhogi Pongal and is dedicated to Lord Indra as he is responsible for the rain. The second day is called Suriya Pongal when the sun god is worshipped.
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  • On the day of Mattu Pongal (January 15, 2017) , the third day of the celebration, farm animals are bathed, anointed and served a specially prepared fodder. They are decorated with garlands and special puja is offered to them as well.
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  • Preparing the dish is the most important part of the celebration. In Tamil, 'Pongal' means spilling. Boiling milk spilling over the clay pot is regarded as a sign of abundance and prosperity. A special hearth is prepared at the courtyard where the Pongal is cooked. Firewood is used to light the hearth on the auspicious moment. In many temples, community Pongal is prepared and distributed among devotees.
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Thai Pongal Messages

As you shout Pongalo Pongal
To welcome the prosperity and wealth
along with the overflowing Milk
I wish you everlasting happiness and joy
Happy Pongal
May the SUN god shower his WARMTH
on this happy day of PONGAL
May the SUGARCANE offer its SWEETNESS
on this joyous day of PONGAL.
The sun shines bright
To guide and lead us the way
Towards bountiful harvest season
May you be blessed with prosperity and joy
Happy Pongal!
A pongal with happiness and joy
A Pongal with fun and joy
That is what my pongal wishes to you
Wishing you Happy Pongal
May this Pongal brings
Bring luck and prosperity to your home
And fill your heart with harmony and happiness
Happy Pongal!
As you celebrate Pongal with fun and feast
I wish you a great harvest and prosperity
In all those years to Come
Pongal Vazhthahakal
May the love and affection
Overflow from your heart
Like Pongal milk from the pot
Pongalo Pongal

Thai Pongal Quotes

The day for farmers' and it is the day for sun,
Let all happiness be yours on this Pongal day!
Let happiness be filled in your life as sun fills its light over the world,
Happy Pongal!
Pongal thirunaalam
Thaipongal thirunaalam
Pongivarum pongal pola
Engum pongatum magirchi.
Wishing that this festival is one,
which brings good luck and prosperity and hoping that it is joyous,
and fills your days ahead with happiness.
Have a wonderful Pongal.
With Great Devotion,
Fervour and Gaiety
My Warm wishes to you and your family
Happy Pongal!
Pot Rice to Sun,
God Sugarcane to Cow and Ox,
Sweet Rice to You and Me,
Good Milk to Friends and Family.
Happy Pongal!

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Last Updated: 8th April,2017