Today, January 14th marked the first day of Pongal. Pongal is a four-day festival that celebrates the harvest of essential ingredients in Tamil cooking such as rice, sugar cane and turmeric.

The celebration, which always falls in mid-January, is a time to give thanks for the harvest. It was a great time for all the kids, volunteers and employees to spend some of the morning together eating and enjoying ourselves.

Pongal Celebrations

We were all up bright and early with smiles all round. A pot of rice was boiling over a small fire in front of the main entrance of Dayspring Home (a common tradition for rural celebrations). Beautifully designed kolam and rangoli were plentiful around the grounds of Dayspring Home.

Rangoli

Once the rice was boiled, we all gathered round and Mercy, the director of Blossom, gave offerings to the sun-god. These included sugar-cane, coconuts and bananas in front of the fire.Sugar Cane Gift

Each child and volunteer were then offered a small stick of sugar cane before sitting down to a special meal of pongal (sweet rice), idlee, samba and chutney served on banana leaves.

Food for Pongal

It was a wonderful morning of great people, food, and fun. It’s empowering to see so many smiles and hear so much laughter from children who come from such sad backgrounds.

Dayspring Child

 

Written/Photos by: Nikki Owens, Canada
Blossom’s Media and Communications Officer