KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 – About 500 people attended the MIC’s Ponggal celebration this year. The first of the three-day celebration, namely Vettu Ponggal, was held at the headquarters on Jalan Rahmat as a way to seek blessing for the party’s ‘home’. Vettu Ponggal is often held at home and with the recent flood that we had here which did damage to our building, we want to seek blessing and cleanse our headquarters,” Bandar Tun Razak MIC Wanita head V. S. Saratha told the New Straits Times.
She added that it was also held in moderation as a show of respect to the East Coast flood victims as well as a remembrance to the country’s three major airline incidents last year. The celebration was held in high spirits by those who attended with cheers of “Ponggal!” as the milk in two clay pots started to boil and spill onto the ground.
“The spilling milk signifies prosperity and we are thanking the Sun God and Mother Nature for the abundance of harvest. “Individuals will put handfuls of rice into the pot with wishes and prayers of their own that they would like to achieve this year,” she said. When the mixture of milk, rice, nuts and raisins are cooked, some of it will be put on an altar for prayer before it is served to everyone. The clay pots must be new each year as the Thai month is considered the holiest.
“Yesterday, during the ‘Vhogi’, we threw out old things like clothes and kitchenware to start everything fresh,” Saratha said. On the second day, Mattu Ponggal, the Hindus will worship the cow while on the last day, Kanni Ponggal, will be held in the temple where single girls will cook the Ponggal with hopes of meeting their life partners.
“In the city, all three days are celebrated depending on convenience. We don’t really see a cow farm here so we worship the cow symbols or idols in our temples.” Also among the attendees at the celebration were MIC vice president Datuk S. Balakrishnan and Selangor MIC Wanita head Senator Sivapakiam Aiyam Perumal.