Temples will be festooned in flowers and Kolam designs. Worshippers will throng temples to make their offerings to the gods. Houses will be cleaned and painted. New clothes will be bought. The smell of Pongal rice will herald the festival of harvest, Thai Pongal. Celebrated by the Hindus on January 14, the festival is an important one in the Hindu calendar. Many customs are observed to give thanks and honour the sun, the rain and the farm animals who helped reap a prosperous harvest. The Pongal rice cooked in milk and sweetened with jaggery is offered to the sun in gratitude. As the auspicious act of boiling milk, spills over, families will wish for future prosperity. Families of Hindu households prepare snacks known as Palakaram, vadai, murukku, laddu and payasam as a part of the festive celebration. They then visit the kovil to beseech blessings.