Check out the Pongal 2021 Festival in Singapore: kids can check out fun workshops, see the beautiful lights in Little India and try tasty treats
From 14 January 2021, Little India bustles with even more colour and life than usual for the 2021 Pongal Festival, which features magnificent light displays, kid-friendly workshops and more. 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 2021?
14 January is the Official Opening Ceremony of the Pongal Celebrations at Little India.
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?
There won’t be a traditional parade of cattle on the streets like in previous years, but there will be plenty of photo opportunities thanks to the colourful interactive photo booths at the Indian Heritage Centre featuring paintings of cattle and rice farming. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn about the significance of Pongal celebrations, no matter where you’re from!