14th & 15th January
A time of colorful celebration of happiness and prosperity, Thai Pongal harvest festival observed by the Hindu population of Sri Lanka in the month of January portrays beautiful rituals as an expression of jubilation over life's renewal. It is a time of offering thanks to the gods, worship the sun, the earth, the cattle and bounty with devotion. Throughout the month, the front yards and entrances of houses are decorated with the traditional colorful designs called "Kolam" drawn with rice flour.
On the Thai Pongal day, all family members starts the day early dressed in new clothes and then gathers around a fire wood hearth set up using three bricks to follow the ritual of boiling of milk at sunrise and to cook the traditional rice pudding. During this time, cattle are worshipped and given a day of rest and they are caparisoned with beads, bells and flower garlands and their horns painted and capped with gleaming metal. Devotees fulfill their religious activities at Kovils and partake in the celebrations indulged in an aura of renewal.
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