Thai Pongal is celebrated on the first day of the month Thai of the Tamil calendar. The day normally falls between 12th and 15th of the month of January in the Christian calendar. Thus, Thai is the first month of the Tamil Almanac, and Pongal is a dish of sweet concoction of rice, moong dal, jaggery and milk. This festival is celebrated by one and all as it is non-relevance to any particular religious faith. The whole Tamil population of the world celebrates it without any differences. Therefore it is widely known as “Tamil Thai Pongal” or the “Festival of the Tamils”.
The Tamil festival of Thai Pongal is a thanks giving ceremony in which the farmers celebrate the event to thank the spirits of nature spirit, the Sun and the farm animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest. The rest of the people celebrate the festival to pay their thanks to the farmers for the production of food. Overall, it is a festival to encourage social cohesiveness and unite people by bringing them together in a common function. There are many songs about Thai Pongal and there is much Tamil literature about it.
Celebration of the Pongal day at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura was taken place on 19th January 2018 in front of the Cultural Centre of the University. Vice Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura; Prof. Sampath Amaratunge, Dean of the Faculty of Technology; Prof. P. B. Mandawala, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Commerce; Dr. Anura Kumara, Coordinator of the Social Harmony Project; Prof. Charmalie Nahallage, President of the Art Assembly and Cultural Center; Dr. Praneeth Abyesundara, Senior Lecturer of the Department of History and Archaeology; Rev. Amila Dambara Thero as well as academics non academics and undergraduates of the University participated in the Pongal ceremony. This festival is annually organised by the Art Assembly and Cultural Center of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.