Soldiers serving in different areas under the 55 Division of Kaddaikadu together with Hindu devotees in respective areas celebrated Thai Pongal on January 15th. Hindu temples in their areas were cleaned by the soldiers on guidance of Commanding Officers and with participation of civilians.
Pongal rice was cooked by the soldiers following traditions according to Hindu culture and served it to villagers and travelers from 10.00 am to mid noon. Over 3000 civilians enjoyed pongal rice cooked and served by the Army.
Senior citizens, children and villagers who arrived in the venues were welcome according to Hindu tradition. Priests and villagers extended their support to soldiers in organizing the festival.
“Thai Pongal (தைப்பொங்கல்) or Pongal (பொங்கல்) is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamil people at the end of the harvest season. Pongal is a four day festival which usually takes place from January 13 to 16 in the Gregorian calendar i.e., the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of Tamil month Thai.
The second of the four days i.e., first day of the Tamil month Thai is the second and main day of the festival and this day is known as Thai Pongal. This day coincides with Makara Sankranthi which is a winter harvest festival celebrated throughout India. The day marks the start of sun’s six-month long journey northwards or the Uttarayanam. This also represents the Indic solstice when the sun purportedly enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac i.e. Makara or Capricorn.”
Thaipongal National Celebration was held at Nallur, Jaffna on 19th January 2014. Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudewa Nanayakkara graced the event as the chief guest.
Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration organized this event at Nallur in the association of Jaffna District Secretariat. The ceremony commenced at Nallur front. The guests were invited to the jubilee hall with the traditional dance and music. Several traditional cultural items were performed to mark Thaipongal.
Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development KN Douglas Devananda, Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri, Indian Consul – Jaffna V.Mahalingam, Mayoress Mrs.Y.Patkunarajah , Government Agent of Jaffna district Sundaram Arumainyagam and several others took part in the event.