Canada greets Tamils for Thaippongkal
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 11 January 2011, 12:17 GMT]
On behalf of the Prime Minister of Canada, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Mr. Jason Kenney extended warmest greetings to all those celebrating Thaip-pongkal. It is a festival that unites Tamils from all over the world. It is also an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize the tremendous contributions of the Tamil community and share in the joyous spirit of this great festival, the Canadian minister said in his message. Tamils in Canada are predominantly Eezham Tamils who continue experiencing a collective trauma of the ongoing genocide of their nation in their home country.
The festival day is fixed by the entry of Sun in the sign of Capricorn, according to Indian astronomical system of fixed zodiac or stellar-centric zodiac, compared to moving zodiac or geo-centric zodiac of Western astronomy.
The auspicious time of entry this year falls on Friday night, local time in Ilangkai and India, hence Pongkal for the Sun is fixed for Saturday by the Vaakkiya Pagnchaangkam (almanac) prepared in Jaffna.
The Tamil Nadu government has also fixed the Pongkal Festival Day (the main Pongkal for the Sun) to 15 Jan 2011, Saturday.
Pongkal that usually falls on the 14 Jan will fall on the 15th once in four years, like a leap year.
In Tamil Nadu, Thaip-Pongkal is celebrated for four days: Bhoagi-pongkal on Friday on which old items are discarded, Chooriya-pongkal on Saturday, Maaddup-pongkal on Sunday and Kaaínum pongkal on Monday.
According to the nomenclature of the calendar of Tamil Nadu government, Pongkal Festival and Tamil New Year on Saturday, Thiruvaílíluvar Day on Sunday and Farmerís Day on Monday.
According to Government of India calendar, Makara Sankranti festival (the Sunís entry into Makara or Capricorn is fixed for 14 January Friday and Pongkal is fixed for 15 January, Saturday, this year.
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