[Photo by Leon Brocard]
INDIA: Indians celebrate a four-day festival, known as Pongal, January 12th through the 15th. Pongal marks the beginning of the end of India’s winter season. During the second day, people throw their old clothes into the fire, have an oil massage and then wear new clothes, to worship Surya, the sun god. It’s known as Surya Pongal, and it is the most important day of the festival. Throughout the celebration, women perform puja for the prosperity of their brothers, families decorate their floor with decorative patterns using rice flour, and cattle are bathed, dressed and served pongal (rice boiled in milk).