Little India gears up for Pongal festival

A display showing items significant to Pongal, a Tamil festival, at the Indian Heritage Centre. Pongal, which is celebrated in Singapore from Jan 15 to 17, is named after a traditional sweet pudding cooked with cow's milk.
A display showing items significant to Pongal, a Tamil festival, at the Indian Heritage Centre. Pongal, which is celebrated in Singapore from Jan 15 to 17, is named after a traditional sweet pudding cooked with cow's milk.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Over 800,000 visitors expected; activities to celebrate Tamil festival include food trail

Little India is expecting more than 800,000 people to visit and take part in various activities held in the area in celebration of Pongal, a Tamil festival.

The four-week-long activities surrounding the harvest festival, which is a three-day event, will start on Thursday next week, with a bull, three cows, two calves and two goats being paraded from Campbell Lane to Hastings Road.

At the destination, the animals will be housed temporarily for a Heritage Carnival from Jan 11 to 19.

The Pongal festival, celebrated in Singapore from Jan 15 to 17, is named after a traditional sweet pudding cooked with cow's milk.

About 5,000 puddings will be distributed to people on Jan 15 and 16 at Pongal Festival Village in Campbell Lane.

One of the activities is Little India Food Trail, which visitors can join to learn about the different types of Indian food and explore various food outlets.

TIME OF THANKSGIVING

We have to be thankful for what we have received all these years from the growth of our Singapore economy and look forward to many more years of progress for Singapore.

MR RAJAKUMAR CHANDRA, chairman of the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association, on Pongal, which is celebrated as a harvest and thanksgiving festival.

"Pongal in Singapore has grown in a big way, with the celebration going on for more than a month. The visitorship for Pongal was more than 723,000 people last year," said Mr Rajakumar Chandra, chairman of the Little India Shopkeepers and Heritage Association (Lisha), the main organiser of the festivities.

Noting that Pongal is celebrated in the Tamil community here and all over the world as a harvest and thanksgiving festival, he added: "We have to be thankful for what we have received all these years from the growth of our Singapore economy and look forward to many more years of progress for Singapore."

Those who are interested in joining the food trail, workshops and other events may send an e-mail to events@lisha.org.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 05, 2019, with the headline 'Little India gears up for Pongal festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe