Thai Pongal : Rise of a New year



Growing up, Thai Pongal was very auspicious at our house. We took part in making our food and got a chance to dress up. I don’t remember much about doing activities mainly because we spoke thamil at home on a regular and learned about Thai Pongal as each year went by.

A few years back, before beginning my art career as an artist and instructor I was a thamil teacher. My main focus was kindergarten and grade 1. Teaching my students thamil gave me a new perspective not just on how to re-teach thamil but also how to focus the particular nuances of how thamil was taught to me.  I attempted to create fun ways for my students to engage in activities that help them learn. Here are some activities that you can try at home with your kids as you teach them about Thai pongal.

அ.) Finger painting/ grains mosaic

Cut out a stencil out of cardboard or foam. I repurposed old amazon boxes and carved out a pot shape. I would start with an easy to fill in stencil like a paanai (clay pot) or a floral design.

Apply a paper underneath the stencil and fill it in using paint, grains or ingredients or coloured rice. You can also try food painting with fruits juices like  pomegranate or berries,or diluted tumeric or vermilion.

last year we tried fingerpainting with my son using our handmade stencil, and so this year we decided to use ingredients that are harvested by farmers to fill in our stencil. It was a great way to recognize ingredients, explain the importance of agriculture while having some fun.


ஆ.Create your own Kollam.

Aside from the traditional kollam you can use wooden puzzles pieces, or cut outs of geometric shapes for children under 4. Its a fun technique that helps them learn shapes and create mess free kollams.


Using this dotted paper I drew out some shapes that reminded me of Thai pongal. I asked my son to colour them in and name the shapes, while I also taught him the names in thamil.


இ. Colour and name the objects that you see in the picture.

Names of objects.

Kuthuvillaku (lamp)


Thengkai (coconut)

Paaku (betel)

Vethillai( betel leaf)

Vaalaippalam (banana)

Thaamarai (lotus)

Karrumbu (sugar cane)





You can right click to download these images.

Hope you liked our activities! Happy painting, happy creating, happy learning!

Happy Thai pongal!







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