The multi-day harvest festival of South India is observed during the second week of January.
It is dedicated to the Sun God (Surya). Farmers worship the Sun and celebrate the harvest for the whole year.
The festival is largely celebrated in India for four days and it includes Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal and Mattu Pongal.
Sri Lankans generally celebrate Thai Pongal for two days with the Pongal being cooked on the first day.
Mutual understanding needed to achieve objectives of Thai Pongal - President
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in his message for Thai Pongal festival, says in order to achieve the objectives of the Thai Pongal festival, all the Sri Lankan citizens must have a mutual understanding amongst them.
“I am extremely happy to join with the Sri Lankan Tamil brethren to celebrate the Thai Pongal festival that is being observed with festivities by all the Tamils across the world,” says the President.
On the day of Thai Pongal all the people who are engaged in the agricultural sector, worship the sun to express gratitude to the nature and seek blessings, he continued in his message.
President Rajapaksa says that new relationships built within the family unit with the dawn of the Thai Pongal, gradually expand to the entire society strengthening harmony. “I earnestly believe, through this festival, the social bond filled with the spirit of humanity will further spread between the parents and children, teachers and students, friends and relations, rulers and citizens with strength.”
“To achieve the objectives of the Thai Pongal festival, all the Sri Lankan citizens must have a mutual understanding amongst them. It is important to commit with determination on this auspicious day to firstly implement this decision as an attitude change and secondly to make it a reality,” the President has said.