Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai: The Kerala government on Thursday declared January 14 as Pongal holiday in 6 districts, where there is considerable Tamil population, switching the date from January 15.
The one-day local holiday was announced in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Palakkad and Wayanad districts.
A government order issued in this regard said though January 15 was mentioned as 'pongal' holiday in this year's calendar, it is changed from Saturday to Friday. It also said the change was made considering the request of the Tamil Protection Council and also in accordance with the holidays of the Tamil Nadu government and the Centre.
However, January 15 would be a working day in these districts in its place.
Earlier in the day, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin requested his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan to declare January 14 as a local holiday for the Pongal festival for Tamils in Kerala instead of January 15.
In a letter, Stalin requested that a local holiday be declared for Pongal in the six districts.
"I am given to understand that during the last 12 years the Kerala government has been declaring January 14 as local holiday for the Pongal festival, which is also the first day of the auspicious Tamil month 'Thai.' But this year, January 15 is proposed to be declared a holiday in these six districts," the Tamil Nadu chief minister said.
"I request you to continue the practice of declaring January 14 as the local holiday for Pongal Festival as it is being celebrated on that particular date all over the world amongst the Tamil communities," Stalin said.
(With inputs from PTI)