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Pongala festival observed in UK


Pongala festival observed in UK
London: A pongala festival, similar to the famed Attukal Pongala, was celebrated with aplomb here in London. It was at the Murugan temple in Manor Park, London that this religious festival was observed. 

This was the seventh time that the festival was observed here under the guidance of former Newham counsellor, and renowned writer, Mrs. Omana Gangadharan. 

The wave of people looking for redemption was aplenty this time, considerably more than the previous year. There were Malayali women at the helm of the 'Thalapoli' and 'Chendamelam' to add more colour to the event.

MP Stephen Kims inaugurated the festival that was attended by people from different sects, religions, and languages. 

Unlike the way the festival in conducted in Kerala, people here gathered handfuls of rice in one single vessel for preparing the pongala. 

Along with Pongala, 'mandapoottu', 'palpayasam', 'thairali', and white rice were also prepared as offerings to the deity.  The administration of the pongala committee had arranged meals for 500 people, as part of 'annadaanam' (sacred offering).

The funds that come in after the pongala festival are usually sent to Kerala for philanthropic activities.