COLOMBO, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan Tamils on Thursday celebrated Thai Pongal, the harvest festival, to thank the sun for giving them a good harvest.
"Thai" is referred to the 10th month in the Tamil calendar and "Pongal" in Tamil means "overflowing" with plenty of food and joy.
Early in the morning, Tamils use colorful rice flour to paint elaborate designs called "Kolam" on the floor in living rooms or courtyard. They also use clay pots to make Pongal, a sweet dish made from boiled milk, jaggery (raw sugar), coconut scrapings and rice. As the milk boils and overflows the jars, adults and children shout "Pongal-o-Pongal" and sprinkle the jars with rice and jaggery coming from the first season of the New Year. At this ceremony, people pray for a good harvest and a happy life in the coming year.