UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thanked the Tamil community for their service in the National Health Service (NHS) in a video message released this morning to mark Thai Pongal.
"I want to send my best wishes to everyone celebrating Thai Pongal this weekend," Sunak said.
"I want to say an enormous thank you to British Tamils for your hard work and the sacrifices you make for the good of your families and communities and for demonstrating the true meaning of service, especially in our NHS," he added.
"Let me wish everyone here and around the world helath, happiness and prosperity this Thai Pongal."
Thai Pongal is a secular Tamil festival which 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.