Take a peep into how Pongal is celebrated globally. .
The harvest festival of Pongal is celebrated by the Tamils in several parts of the world other than India. The rituals and customs they follow are similar to the ones practiced in India during this festival.
Here’s an overview of Pongal celebrations around the world.
Pongal in South-East Asia:
- Some countries in South-East Asia that celebrate this harvest festival are Singapore, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
- This is actually one of the biggest Hindu festivals observed in these nations. There are several Hindu temples in these countries, and the Tamils visit these temples to offer their prayers on Pongal, and other festivals. The sound of bells, clarinets, and conch shells in these temples add to the joy of the festivities on this occasion.
- One of the special highlights of this festival is the early-morning ritual of preparing rice in new pots and allowing it to boil and spill over as a sign of prosperity.
- Rice is cooked in the temples when prayers are offered. The foods offered to the gods include sugarcane, vegetables, and spices.
Pongal in Middle East:
- The Tamils in Bahrain, Dubai, Qatar, and Oman celebrate their harvest festival with a lot of gaiety and religious fervor. Festivities are held on a grand scale in Oman and Dubai as well.
Celebrations in Oceania:
- Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand are the countries in Oceania, where you will see people observing the Tamil harvest festival.
- In Australia, the Tamils celebrate this festive occasion at the few temples located there. So, the celebrations are not as traditional or on the same level as in India.
- In Fiji, the celebration of this harvest festival has helped the Tamils to hold on to their culture and traditions.
- In New Zealand, the festival is observed to strengthen the cultural bonds in the Tamil community. The Tamils have even constructed temples there to organize the festival in a grand way.
Pongal in Africa:
- In Africa, this festival is considered to be a public holiday, considering the huge population of Tamils residing there.
- The Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam organizes the festivities at a grand scale every year. Cultural events are a special highlight of the celebrations on this special occasion.
- In Mauritius, there are around 250 temples and most of them observe the traditional rituals and customs on the occasion of the Tamil harvest festival. This has actually helped to maintain and promote unity among the Tamils.
Celebrations in the U.S. and Canada:
- Be it the U.S. or Canada, the Tamil harvest festival is celebrated with widespread enthusiasm in these North American countries.
- There are a couple of temples and voluntary organizations which observe the festivities in a traditional way, just as it is celebrated in India.
Pongal in Europe:
- In Europe, Britain, France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, and Switzerland are the locations where the Tamils celebrate their harvest festival annually. They organize get-togethers to have a great time celebrating this festival as one community.
Thus, Pongal is as widely celebrated all over the world as it is observed in India.
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