Ponggal Celebration

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 PONGGAL CELEBRATION

Sun, 14th Jan at 5.30pm (Tamil)

 

KOLAM DRAWING COMPETITION

The kolam will be drawn at the church foyer on Saturday, 13th Jan after sunset mass. Results will be announced at the Ponggal Mass. 

 

Ponggal is the Tamil harvest festival giving thanks to God and Mother Nature for the gift of a new harvest of rice after all the labour of the farmers. In India, Hindus as well as Christians celebrate it as we do here in Malaysia. Obviously, the religious connotations of the feast differ accordingly.

Pongal means “overflowing”, signifying abundance and prosperity. Newly harvested rice mixed with milk and sugar is boiled in a decorated new mud pot in a fireplace made for the purpose in open air. When the boiling rice fills up to the brim and overflows, family and neighbours stand around the pot and joyfully acclaim in thanksgiving, "Ponggalo, ponggal!" Then the sweet rice is shared by all present in an act of fellowship.

The Jews also celebrated the spring wheat harvest or first fruit festival as described in the Bible during the Jewish feast of Pentecost, on which the early Church experienced the day of outpouring of the Holy Spirit on humanity. The gift of the Spirit is the overflowing bounty of God´s grace on the human family.

Ponggal is thus not just thanking God for blessings received, but also reminds us of the outpouring of the Spirit, promised by the prophet Joel and fulfilled at Pentecost. The outpouring of the Spirit causes the human heart to well up and overflow with love, which is expressed in actions of sharing and the gift of self. Sharing the sweet rice and other food reminding us of the agape or love meal of the early Church. It alsoevokes  themes of the Eucharist in which Christ Himself becomes our food and drink, and is the Supreme Ponggal, the gift of God's overflowing love incarnated in human history. Thus, with thisEucharistic allusion, Ponggal becomes a challenge to us - sharing foodat Ponggal should symbolize sharing ourblessings in daily life.

Tamil mass Sun, 28th Jan at 5.30pm is cancelled