Archive for January 11th, 2010

Peace the silver lining as Thai Pongal is celebrated at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Kolam being created

Thai Pongal is an important aspect of Thamil culture and tradition, and indeed a  gesture to thank nature and indeed for celebrating the life cycles that give us grain. Hence, Mount Lavinia Hotel has made plans to celebrate this festival quintessentially with a fabulous spread and the traditions observed for this time of giving thanks on the 14th of Jan at the Governor’s Restaurant.

This festival is the equivalent of Canada’s Thanks Giving Day. Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival celebrated by Thamils living all around the world. To give a brief  summary on the festival takes its name from the Tamil word meaning “to boil” and is held on the first day of the month of Thai (January -February) when rice and other cereals, sugar-cane, and turmeric (an essential ingredient in Tamil cooking) are harvested.

“By celebrating this festival it helps to publicize the rich culture, traditions, and much aspiration, of our own kith and kin. Also indeed to give an emotional link to them for the first time in two decades who are celebrating Pongal in an atmosphere of relative peace,” states Mr Anura Dewpaura, General Manager of Mount Lavinia Hotel, who is spearheading a major change at the hotel and indeed giving unity as the wayforward as the silverlining.

It is a joyous and happy occasion when the poor, the rich, the farmer, the villager all celebrate the harvest festival together irrespective of their individual faith. Celebrations include drawing of Kolam, swinging and cooking of delicious Pongal.

The harvest festival, Pongal, falls typically on the 14th or the 15th of January and is the quintessential ‘Tamil Festival’. Interestingly in Japan too, the harvesting day is celebrated on January 15 of every year and is called “Kosho Katsu”.

Pongal refers to rice cooked in milk and sweetened with jaggery. Therefore the Mount Lavinia Hotel will serve typical savory pongal, it can be eaten as is or one can have it with varieties like sambar/rasam and/or coconut chutney and other dishes like payasam and many others that are synonymous to pongal celebrations.