Malay Indians to celebrate Pongal in grand way

Petaling Jaya, Jan 14 (ANI): Hindu temples across Malaysia are gearing up to celebrate Pongal or the harvest festival this weekend in a grand way.

The Pongal festival, celebrated by Indians in Malaysia, marks the birth of the new month of Thai in the Indian calendar. Thaipusam falls on full moon day of the month.

Kuala Lumpur Sri Mahamariamman Temple Devasthanam chief priest Sivakumar Battar said they expected large crowds as Pongal falls on a weekend this year.

He explained that the best time to prepare Pongal (sweet) rice for those celebrating the festival at home would be between 7 to 10 a.m. on Saturday morning or at noon.

The Pongal rice is cooked using rice, coconut milk, ghee and cashewnuts. During the cooking, the milk has to boil over to signify happiness and prosperity for the family, The Star reports.

Sivakumar said the day before Pongal, celebrated as Boghi day, sees Indians cleaning their homes and throwing out old or unused things.

Traditionally, on Pongal day, Indians prepare the sweet rice before giving thanks to the "life-giving" sun for a bountiful harvest."

Sivakumar said the second day of the festival is the Maattu Pongal where cows are decorated and adorned with flower garlands.

It marks the significant role of the cows, which helped farmers plough the fields, especially in the olden days India.

The third day of the festival, the kanni or kaanum Pongal, is when young girls offer their prayers at riverbanks with hopes of finding a suitable husband.(ANI)

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