Pongal Harvest Festival
As I was walking home through Little India tonight I stumbled upon a Hindu harvest festival from southern India called Pongal. Running from 10-19 January this year, Pongal is a festival of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest of rice and other grains, sugar cane and tumeric. A large crowd had gathered in front of the stage to see tonight's entertainment - the dancers especially were fantastic. Following the dancers were singers, no doubt performing popular duets from Tamil movies. At the opposite end of the marquis, some very pretty, dolled up cows and baby goats were on display and the entire side street off Serangoon Road next to the stage area was filled with vendors selling fruit, flowers and trinkets for the festival. Some of the spectators had white powder smeared on their foreheads called Vibudhi which they received today in the temple as a blessing. Happening upon festivals from all over Asia being celebrated by Singapore's diverse population is one of the wonderful things about living here.