This year’s Thai Pongal festival can be celebrated with renewed hope : PM

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Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa says this year’s Thai Pongal festival can be celebrated with renewed hope by those celebrating in Sri Lanka and all over the world.

In his message for the Thai Pongal festival, the Premier added that the government is committed to uplift the living standards of all Sri Lankan citizens and is determined to work towards overcoming these challenges together as a nation, despite the prevailing challenging times.

The statement further read: “It is with immense pleasure that I wish all Tamil devotees in Sri Lanka and all over the world a very happy Thai Pongal festival. In the Hindu-Tamil Calendar, the first month of the year is known as ‘Thai’, and ‘Pongal’ infers a new dawn.”

“The arrival of a new harvest is celebrated on the day of Thai Pongal. It venerates Mother Nature and the Sun God, as an expression of gratitude for a bountiful harvest. This celebration of the dawn of the new year is both culturally and religiously significant to the Hindu people,” it continued.

“A traditional speciality of Pongal is a sweet rice made with rice from the new harvest, milk, and sugarcane is made as an offering to the Sun God as a show of gratitude.” These traditions and rituals give an insight into and highlights the cultural and religious values of showing appreciation, respect and gratitude, the Premier added.

“Although we differ in ethnicity, religion and language, our aspirations, hopes and dreams as Sri Lankan’s are similar.”

The PM says: “Even though we are currently facing challenging times, the government is committed to uplift the living standards of all Sri Lankan citizens and is determined to work towards overcoming these challenges together as a nation.”

Therefore, this year’s Thai Pongal festival can be celebrated with renewed hope by those celebrating in Sri Lanka and all over the world, he pointed out.

“May the festivities of Thai Pongal and the values that it propagates, cultivate a spirit of peace and reconciliation between all Sri Lankan’s. I wish everyone celebrating a happy and prosperous Thai Pongal and the very best for the year ahead.”