Thai Pongal

English meaning of the festival

The tenth month in the Tamil calendar is referred to as Thai. Pongal means “boiling over” or “overflow”. Thai Pongal symbolises the joy of a good harvest.

How the date is decided annually

It is celebrated annually on the 15 January when the sun transits from Sagittarius to Capricorn.

Significance of the festival to Hinduism

Thai Pongal is celebrated to thank the Sun God and Lord Indra for helping farmers in getting better-yielding crops.

How to observe/practice

Generally, the festival is spread over four days. The first day is dedicated to Surya and rice is boiled in milk, ghee and sugar. This is offered in prayer to Surya. The second day is set aside to thank farm animals and implements. The third is dedicated to young girls who will play a significant role as mothers in the future.

Synonyms between major Indian languages

Pedda Panduga (Telugu), Uttarayana (Gujarati), Khichdi (Hindi)

Updated: 10 January 2023