The Tamil community celebrated Thai Pongal, a popular harvest festival.

Tamils in Harrow held their tenth celebration for the Thai Pongal harvest festival on January 18 at the Harrow Council Chamber, organised by the Harrow Tamil Community Association.

The festival is the near equivalent of thanksgiving and is a celebration every year on the first day of the Tamil month to honour the sun for an enriching harvest.

Families gather to rejoice and share their harvests with others offering of a “Pongal” of rice and milk.

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(Photo: Husain Akhtar)

Performers from Harrow Tamil schools, sports club, the Bharathanatya dance organisation and the Harrow Tamil Elder Centre all took part in the event.

Many special guests were welcomed to the festival, including the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Nitin Parekh, along with Harrow Council leader Graham Henson and others.

The celebrations began with the lighting of the Thai Pongal lamp, a prayer and a welcome dance.

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(Photo: Harrow Tamil Community Association)

The chamber was applauded by variety of colourful dance performances and all enjoyed the delicious Pongal feast at the end.

Ex Harrow councillor, Husain Akhtar, was a recipient of the appreciation award for 10 years of voluntary contribution at the Thai Pongal events.

He said: “I’m grateful for this special honour. I have always enjoyed photographing this wonderfully organised and culturally rich event – talent of young artists is amazing.”