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January 14, 2015 – Thai Pongal Statement

I would like to take this opportunity to wish members of the Canadian Tamil community Happy Thai Pongal and Pongal Vazhthukkal.

Pongal, which falls on the first day of the Tamil month Thai is a harvest festival that coincides with the winter solstice. Pongal is dedicated to the Sun God Surya and marks the beginning of the northward journey of the sun from its southernmost-limit, a movement referred to as ‘uttarayana’.

This centuries-old festival celebrates the many gifts of the harvest and the family. Special rice dishes are prepared; homes are adorned with banana and mango leaves and decorative patterns drawn with rice flour; and, people gather at temple for special prayers.

The saying “Thai Pirandhal Vazhi Pirakkum” meaning “the commencement of Thai paves the way for new opportunities” is often said during the Pongal festival.

As the City Councillor for Scarborough-Agincourt, I have worked closely with the Canadian Tamil community on many issues. It has also been my privilege to attend Thai Pongal observances and share in the festival traditions.

I extend my warmest greetings on this auspicious occasion of Pongal and wish you all life’s best now and in all the days to come. As you joyfully celebrate the festival of Pongal and welcome the harvest season, this greeting is being sent your way, to wish you everything, that the occasion is meant to bring.