Pongal – The Festival Celebrating Prosperity

India is a land of agriculture. Seasonal changes play a very important role for Indian farmers. Their lifestyles and celebrations are linked to the seasonal landmarks throughout the year. Pongal, the harvest festival of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is one Indian festival in tune with a farmer’s lifestyle. It marks the closing of the winter season and corresponds to the time when the sun is moving from Dakshinayanam (south) to Uttarayanam (north), known as Uttarayan Punyakalam and is considered auspicious. As per the Tamil calender, Pongal is celebrated four days from the last day of the month of Margazhi (December — January) to the third day of the month of Thai (January — February). Thus, according to the Gregorian calender, Pongal is celebrated from January 12th to 15th; Pongal day or the first day of Thai falls on January 14th.

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Cuddalore – St. Joseph’s Evening School celebrated Pongal on January 13th. The Staff and students with Fr. Britto and Fr. Paul Arokia Raj, the rector, gathered on the football field and started their celebration by preparing the Pongal meal, it was offered in thanksgiving to God and shared by the students with a piece of sugar cane.

Bangalore – Thanking the Lord for his great Providence in our life, Pongal was celebrated on January 20th with our oratory children at Guanella Preethi Nivas. The celebration began that morning, with the prayers and blessings of Fr. Samson. The oratory girls and our workers cooked the sweet Pongal. Many colorful Rangoli and traditional pot-breaking games were organized commonly for the children to enjoy. The celebration ended with a prayer by Brother Deva.

Chennai – The Don Guanella Major Seminary Community and the poor from around Karayanchavady celebrated Pongal on January 15th. The celebration began with Mass in thanksgiving for the blessings of the previous year. After Mass the Pongal meal was cooked and served to all. Unstructured togetherness and traditional games were conducted by the Brothers; who also distributed prizes to the winners. Sharing of the sugarcane strengthened the bounds of unity between the people and the Guanellian community. Fr. Batistta embraced all the events with the spirit of an Indian.

Chennai – The Staff and Children of Don Guanella Eevening School  celebrated Pongal on January 14th. As everyone arrived at the Divine Providence Province house, the fire was lit to inaugurate the feast and prayers were led by Bro. Periyanayagam. While the Pongal was cooking, party and outdoor kept the children busy. When the pongal was ready, it was blessed; everyone shouted “PONGALO PONGAL” and shared with each other. The children were sent home with sugarcane.

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