Thai Pongal (Tamil: தைப்பொங்கல் is a Tamil Thanksgiving festival. Thai Pongal is a four-day festival which according to the Gregorian calendar is normally celebrated from January 14 to January 17. This corresponds to the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of the Tamil month Thai.
Thai Pongal is one of the most important festivals celebrated by Tamil people in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry, Sri Lanka, as well as Tamils worldwide, including those in Malaysia,Mauritius, South Africa, United States, Singapore, Canada and UK. Thai Pongal corresponds to Makara Sankranthi, the winter harvest festival celebrated throughout India.
The day marks the start of the sun’s six-month-long journey northwards (the Uttarayanam). This also corresponds to the Indic solstice when the sun purportedly enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac Makara or Capricorn. Thai Pongal is mainly celebrated to convey appreciation to the Sun God for providing the energy for agriculture. Part of the celebration is the boiling of the first rice of the season consecrated to the Sun - the Surya Maangalyam.