In Singapore, Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated from the 15 January for four days and is marked by thorough spring-cleaning, as well as the discarding of old belongings to signify a fresh start. Oil lamps are lit, new clothes are donned and colourful designs in rice flour are created on the floors of houses as people honour the Sun God. Every household cooks a pot of rice with milk to offer up to Surya at dawn, while relatives and friends visit each other to exchange greetings. Multi-coloured beads, tinkling bells and flower garlands are placed around the necks of cattle.
Pongal offers visitors a peek into a rich culture and way of life that has been celebrated in Southern India for centuries. The tradition has been kept alive in Singapore and is another example of the multi-cultural society travelers can discover here.