Pongal Special: Festivities at DakshinaChitra are on for the next two days!

This much-loved art and culture venue on ECR is back this year with its Pongal celebrations avec all COVID-19 protocols in place
Pongal festivities at DakshinaChitra
Pongal festivities at DakshinaChitra

We’ve completed a circle around the sun and the festival celebrating the sun and the first harvest of the year in all its glory is back again. Pongal, quite literally, celebrates fruition, fertility and everything new and like every year, the city is ready to celebrate this unifying Tamil festival in full swing. The new lockdown protocols however left most venues pre-empting lockdown complications and many cancellations ensued.

However, one of the most awaited Pongal celebrations in the city, Pongal at DakshinaChitra is going strong this year, too and while the venue does understand that crowds might be lesser at this year’s festivities, they’re going ahead with a watered-down festival schedule with all COVID-19 protocols in place. “All the COVID-19 protocols are being adhered to — masks are compulsory and are also worn by our staff at all times, social distancing is being maintained and hand sanitisers are available across different venues,” explains Gita Hudson, curator, DakshinaChitra. While the pongal ceremony (that involves cooking sweet rice in clay pots) will be the main event one can also look forward to several Tamil folk dance performances including mayilattam, silambattam and thappattam. Several Pongal-related games are also being organised at the venue for people of all age groups.

“Pongal is celebrated here in almost the same way as it is done across villages in Tamil Nadu. The 50-odd staff at DakshinaChitra come together to make sweet pongal in mud pots to the sounds of the parai drums amidst colourful oyilattam and karagattam performances,” adds Gita.

Pongal festivities at the venue have been a calendar regular since they threw their doors open in 1996 and they were one of the few venues to host COVID-19-friendly celebrations even during last year’s lockdown in January. The two day-long event promises to be a treat for any culture aficionado.

INR 175 per person. 11 am onwards. January 14 & 15.

romal@newindianexpress.com | @elromal

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