Animal parade adds colour to Little India

This decorated cow was part of an animal parade in Little India yesterday under the annual Pongal festival.
This decorated cow was part of an animal parade in Little India yesterday under the annual Pongal festival.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

A cow decked out in garlands of flowers, bells and a shawl, and with its horns painted, wowed dozens of people in Little India yesterday as it ambled with a herd of similarly spiffed-up cattle down Campbell Lane.

The animal parade, which included three cows, two calves and a pair of goats, is part of the annual Pongal festival, a thanksgiving celebration by the Tamil community for a year of bountiful harvest.

The animals will be housed temporarily in Hastings Road for a Heritage Carnival until Jan 19.

While Pongal is celebrated for three days in Singapore, from Jan 15 to 17 this year, the festivities and activities related to Pongal go on till Feb 10.

More than 800,000 people are expected to descend on Little India during this period.

Highlights of this year's festival include a Little India Food Trail, workshops and a series of activities and street decorations.


About the Pongal festival

Falling in mid-January each year at the start of the auspicious Tamil month of Thai, it is a thanksgiving celebration by the Tamil community for a year of bountiful harvest.

During this period, families carry out rituals such as decorating the floors of their homes with colourful designs in rice flour and cooking Pongal, a traditional sweet rice pudding cooked with cow's milk, which is served to visiting relatives and friends.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 11, 2019, with the headline 'Animal parade adds colour to Little India'. Print Edition | Subscribe