Malaysia: 400 attend Hindu Pongal celebration

IPOH: CRIES of Ponggal lo Ponggal reveberated throughout the Sri Subramaniar Temple in Gunung Cheroh here on Tuesday as the Indian community celebrated the festival.

Over 400 devotees from around the city flocked to the temple to mark the three-day Hindu harvest festival, which also pays homage to the Sun God Surya for blessing the crops and providing a good harvest.

The festivities kicked off with temple prayers conducted by head priest K. Ellankovan followed by the ceremonial boiling of newly-harvested rice, milk, and brown sugar from a clay pot until it overflowed.

Speaking to Streets after the celebration, Sri Subramaniar temple secretary M. Vivekananda explained the significance of the overflowing of the sweet rice.

“The overflowing mixture of rice and other assorted items symbolises a good harvest in the following year.

“Devotees gather around the pot to chant Ponggal lo Ponggal while adding rice to the mixture as the overflowing rice signifies peace, prosperity, and well-being,” he said.

Vivekananda also said that preparations for the festival began two days before.

One devotee, who wished to be known as Arun, said that the festival had always held a special meaning for him.

“Despite arriving at the temple a bit late, I was lucky enough to witness the festivities in full gear.

“This year’s festival is very grand and I am especially excited about the Thaipusam celebration as well,” he said.

Hindus throughout the country are celebrating Thaipusam today.

Source: New Straits Times