People exchange greetings; distribute sweets
Kanum Pongal celebrations held at the VOC Park here on Wednesday had surprise visitors this year.
The park was packed with women and children from Erode and its suburbs greeting one another and exchanging sweets, when Patricia Richard, Jennifer Gully and Suzane from United Kingdom arrived.
The foreigners received a warm welcome from the women and children in the park. After greeting the tourists, the Indian women explained the significance of the harvest festival and it took only a few minutes for the visiting guests to mingle with the celebrants.
Soon, Patricia and Suzane were found dancing with a group of women and children.
“We are touched by the hospitality of the people here. The women and children are sweet. It was a great experience for us,” said Jennifer.
The tourists spent more than an hour with the celebrants in the park before leaving for Tiruchy. They were on a five-week tour to India.
Over 2,000 children and women from Erode and its suburbs gathered at the park to celebrate on the third day of Pongal festival (Kanum Pongal).
Dance, fun games and sporting events formed part of the celebrations at the park.
Meanwhile, there was little pomp and show in other parts of the district. The river banks and lakes, where people used to turn out in large numbers to celebrate the festival, saw a thin crowd.
People in most parts of the district did not celebrate the festival in a big way due to the drought. Thousands of acres of land in the district were left barren this year due to severe water shortage.
The parks in Bhavanisagar dam and Kodiveri anaicut witnessed modest crowd.