Feeling bullish about harvest festival


Villagers trying to control a bull during a bull-taming festival yesterday on the outskirts of Madurai town, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu - part of festivities to mark the four-day harvest festival of Pongal. The literal meaning of Pongal is "spilling over", because of the tradition of boiling rice in a pot until the contents begin overflowing. Pongal is also the name of a dish consumed during the festival, made of sweetened rice boiled with lentils. Other rituals during the festival include preparing the kolam - a traditional hand-drawn design made with coloured powder that is displayed at the entrance of houses - and decorating and offering prayers to cows.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2020, with the headline 'Feeling bullish about harvest festival'. Subscribe