I didn’t realise it was ponggal (harvest festival) today till I noticed the boiling earthen pots under sticks of sugar cane, propped up in front of my neighbours homes this morning.
All dressed up in colourful clothes, the families were gathered around the pot waiting for it to overflow so that they can shout ‘Ponggal!’ which signifies an abundance and overflowing of blessings for the family and their home.
Celebrated amongst the Tamil community in Malaysia and around the world, this cultural festival was an annual feature at the Fatima Church, a Catholic Church in the city of Kuala Lumpur where I used to attend mass with my family.
As a kid, we’d wait for the delicious sweet Ponggal rice boiled with milk, jaggery (brown sugar), cashew nuts and raisins and wrapped in banana leaf to be distributed to parishioners.
Sometimes we had the savoury and sour version (puli rice) too.
The pictures in this post were taken by my former colleague Kogul in conjunction with this year’s Ponggal celebrations. His work can be viewed at Kogulan Creation Photography: