Thaipusam Festival, 8 February,2009

February 3rd, 2009 - 12:41 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Thaipusam is a celebration of the birthday to the Hindu deity Subramaniam. At this occasion, the Hindus shows sincerity of their faith. It is a time for making and fulfilling vows. The devotees pray for divine help and make vows. When their prayers are answered, they fulfill their vows.

To do this, a devotee would pierce his cheeks, tongue, face or other suitable body parts with sharp objects. Later his friends/relatives load a *kavadi on his shoulder. Finally, in a trance-like manner, he goes on a 4km journey of faith. ‘Kavadis’ - ornate frames supported by metal spikes and hooks inserted into their bodies- without blood being let. Thousands of fresh coconuts are smashed along the route of the procession.

Thaipusam celebration in Singapore will draw 50,000 devotees and most likely to be 10 per cent more than last year. The procession is a 4km walk from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to Sri Thendayuthapani Temple on Tank Road.

Thaipusam celebration in Malaysia, during this festival, Batu Caves hosts the largest gathering of Hindu devotees in Malaysia. Located in Gombak district, is said to be the most popular tourist destination in Selangor. It has never ceased to attract visitors, both local and foreign. Only 15 km north of Kuala Lumpur, the caves consist of three main caves and a number of smaller ones. Visitors could reach the top cave via the 272 steps built specially to scale the steep, jagged face of the limestone outcrop. The highlight of this celebration is the kavadi procession. Close to 800,000 people throng Batu Caves for this celebration.

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