GUADELOUPE, FRANCE-ANTILLES, January 12, 2013 (France Antilles): According to Fred Negrit, the festival of Pongal, a harvest festival, is celebrated in other places where there is an Indian diaspora (Reunion, Mauritius, etc.). The second day, the most important, is dedicated to the sun, which is offered rice cooked in milk. The third day is devoted to cows which are washed and their horns are painted.
Pongal was the only vacation period granted annually to the first Indian immigrant laborers in Guadeloupe and Martinique. At the beginning of January, they enjoyed four days to celebrate the Pongal. To revive this tradition, the Guadeloupe Council for Indian languages (CGPLI) and its Tamil students decided to celebrate the festival of Pongal on Sunday, January 13, at Petit-Canal.
This festival has not been celebrated in Guadeloupe since the late nineteenth century. "One of the highlights of the festivities is the cooking of rice according to the tradition of Pongal. "We know it as a rice pudding. It is made with whole milk and we add Indian spices. Moreover, the name of the festival derives from that: when the milk boils and the rice overflows, everyone shouts: "Pongal, pongal!" said Negrit, president of CGPLI.