Preparations for Ponggal, Thaipusam in full swing

KUALA LUMPUR: Preparations are in full swing for the Ponggal harvest festival and Thaipusam which are drawing near.

A Bernama check around Little India, Brickfields found that the essential items for the Ponggal celebration, such as clay pots, sugarcane, milk and turmeric were selling like hot cakes, while yellow clothes for Thaipusam which will be celebrated on Jan 18 were also high in demand.

Flower seller, M.Visakama, 34, said orders for flower garlands keep coming and she has her hands full preparing them.

"I received many orders for flower garlands ahead of the Ponggal and Thaipusam celebrations,” she told Bernama.

For fresh milk seller, R.Thanen, 27, the demand was higher this year as both festivals are celebrated in the same month.

Ponggal falls in the 10th month of the Tamil calendar, called Thai, and is a major celebration, especially for the farming community.

On this day, the Tamil community will prepare the Ponggal (sweet rice) and offer thanksgiving prayers to Surya Bhagavan (the Sun God), the earth, and the cow.

The day after Thai Ponggal is Mattu Ponggal which is dedicated to cows, while on the third day of the Ponggal celebration, known as Kanni Ponggal, young ladies pray for a good life and a great husband.

On the other hand, Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by Hindus around the world in the month of “Thai” which is the 10th month in the Tamil calendar, to commemorate the event where Lord Murugan received the sacred spear from his mother Goddess Parvati, to eliminate the evil demon, Soorapadman, and restore prosperity and human well-being.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Hindu Sangam president Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan said that this year, the auspicious times to prepare the sweet rice are between 7.30am and 10.25am, and from 6.30pm to 9pm for those who do not have the opportunity to hold Ponggal in the morning.

However, he said it is advisable to have Pongal in the morning.

Mohan also urged the Tamil community to celebrate Ponggal at home, in view of the current pandemic situation.

"Devotees attending the Ponggal celebrations held at temples should ensure that they comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set,” he said. - Bernama
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