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Pongalo Pongal! Tamils celebrate Thai Pongal in the homeland

Thai Pongal is being celebrated across the Tamil homeland, with festivities taking place amidst the economic crisis. 

The secular Tamil festival gives thanks to the sun and for the harvest and dates back in its current form to at least as far back as the Medieval Chola empire. The occasion is marked by boiling milk and rice - the 'pongal' - in a clay pot, often accompanied by various other treats and seasonal fruit. The overflow of the milk symbolises abundance and prosperity for the year to come.

See photographs from the homeland below. 


The harvest festival is being marked in Jaffna amidst a heightened security presence as Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe is visiting the district. 

Armed Sri Lankan soldiers and policemen  overlooked the festivities at Nallur Vaiman temple. 


Temples, churches and businesses marked the harvest festival across Mullaitivu. 

With prices soaring on the island, labourers reliant on a daily wage were unable to celebrate Thai Pongal. 


Thai Pongal was also celebrated across Batticaloa. 

Special services were held at Pulianthivu Marial church and Srisiddhi Vinayagar temple. 


In Vavuniya, Tamil families of the disappeared marked the day by renewing their calls to the international community to hold Sri Lanka accountable and provide answers on the whereabouts of their forcibly disappeared loved ones. 





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