Check out the Pongal 2020 Festival in Singapore: kids can milk a cow, watch traditional performances and try tasty treats in Little India
From 10-18 January 2020, Little India bustles with even more colour and life than usual for the 2020 Pongal Festival, which features magnificent light displays, kid-friendly workshops and a Festive Village selling everything from spices to décor items.
India is a land rich in festivals and if there’s one thing that Indians know how to do well, it is to celebrate these festivals with great pomp and ceremony. January is the month where a number of harvest festivals are celebrated in various parts of India, and Pongal is an important festival celebrated by the Tamil diaspora around the world.
When is Pongal 2020?
10th January is the Official Opening Ceremony of the Pongal Celebrations at Little India. Go for a cultural extravaganza showcasing Indian folk songs and dances, including a show that brings people from different ethnicities and religions together.
Every evening from 6:30pm onwards there will be free-to-attend cultural and folk performances representing the rich traditions and cultures of Pongal Festival. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the significance of Pongal celebrations, no matter where you’re from!
Deets: 6:30pm – 10:30pm, at LiSHA, 48 Serangoon Road, Little India Arcade #02-16, Singapore 217959
What is Pongal?
Pongal is a festival to convey gratitude and appreciation to the Sun God (Surya) for a successful harvest and to usher in a bountiful spring season. During this festival, households will typically cook rice with milk in an earthenware pot and let it boil over to symbolize the “bubbling over” of prosperity. This is also a time when cattle is honored, especially the cow, which is considered sacred in the Hindu religion. Pongal is an occasion for making offerings at the temple, for lively social gatherings, and for new beginnings when people don new clothes and do spring cleaning in their homes.
While we are unlikely to see “harvest seasons” living in an urban city like Singapore, this festival is still relatable in modern times. The celebration of this festival provides an opportunity to teach children (and ourselves) to value and celebrate mother nature and the animals around us, and to set our intentions for a fresh new start to the year.
How is Pongal celebrated in Singapore?
Little India comes alive with street decorations and festive stalls, dance and musical performances, as well as an interactive heritage carnival. This Pongal festival usually kicks off with the light-up ceremony, with the ensuing days buzzing with lots of fmaily friendly activities. Bring your kids along for a rich cultural experience. Last year there was the chance to see live animals such as cows, bulls, calves and goats, learn about rice farming, how to milk a cow, take part in craft activities, take part in food tastings, traditional games and watch performances!