festago.net – Malaysia is one of tourist destinations in South East Asia. This country is rich in culture as there are various ethnics live together in peace. One of those ethnic is Tamil community that perform Hindu. When it comes to the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai – which often comes in January or February – Tamil community held a festival named Thaipusam festival. Besides Tamil community in Malaysia, this festival is also held by Tamil communities in Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, Singapore, Guadalupe, South Africa, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and Reunion.
History of Thaipusam
Malaysian thaipusam festival is derived from Thai, which refers to name of a month, and Pusam, which refers to name of star. The festival is held to commemorate Lord Murugan’s victory over Soorapadman, an evil demon, as Lord Murugan has been given a Vel “spear” by Parvati. Even though Hindu is a minority in Malaysia, this festival becomes a public holiday in many states. It takes three days to celebrate this festival and you will see various events during those days.
Thaipusam Festival: Amazing Three Pilgrimage Days
Lord Murugan’s statue is previously located inSri Maha Mariamman Temple. This statue will be carried by a chariot through Kuala Lumpur streets in the first day of Thaipusam attraction. The march will continue on the second day when all participants and devotees walk together barefoot on 9 miles or 15 kilometers path that leads to the Batu Caves. They do it as the fulfillment of their vows. Finally, the chariot will return to the Temple on the third day.
The pilgrimage to Batu Caves is the most crowded event in Festival of Thaipusam. Most participants, attendees, and devotees choose this event than the other ones. The devotees will carry kavadi or huge frames which have been decorated and pots of milk. Their bodies, especially back and chest, will be pierced and spiked as the atonement for the sins they ever commit. The devotees have been prepared since long time for this event. They perform vegetarian diet during a month and complete fasting during the last days. They also practice celibacy all the time.
Be Careful of Sharp Objects
In attending Thaipusam festival, you should be careful of many things. During the pilgrimage, the devotees may dance or move spontaneously. Their bodies are pierced so be careful of those sharp objects like hooks and knives. Joining the pilgrimage to Batu Caves requires extra energy. As the devotees and participants, you will need to climb on 272 steps while the weather is humid and hot. Make sure that you bring adequate water and wear your comfortable shoes. Thaipusam Malaysia festival may be tiring but the view is amazing.
The fact of Thaipusam Festival
More than a month prior to Thaipusam, enthusiasts are already fasting, meditating and praying as a way of preparing themselves for the actual occasion. They’re not permitted to have alcohol and will just consume one vegetarian meal per day till the day of the festival.
This annual event is being memorialized not simply in Malaysia however likewise in other parts of the world where there are existing Tamil communities such as in India, Singapore and Thailand. Like other religious events, the Thaipusam Attraction is composed of fun yet engaging set of activities to entertain thousands of devotees and residents. As a result, it has actually ended up being an essential part of the Malaysian culture and tourist industry where millions of people gather to witness this thanksgiving phenomenon that lasts for 2-3 days. Throughout the procession, fans take part in various spiritual activities and sacrificial rituals. Among the popular locations to go to throughout the Thaipusam Festival remains in Batu Caves which is a shrine located near Kuala Lumpur.
Silver Chariot Procession
Right prior to the Thaipusam celebration, those who will participate in the procession will gather around midnight for the ritual bath as a form of cleansing. After that, the procession will begin where they’ll sustain around eight hours of walking (15 km) from the Sri Mahamariamman Temple up until they reach the Batu Caves early in the early morning. During the procession, they will follow the journey of the silver chariot which brings the statue of Lord Murugan while other Hindu followers present various offerings to their icon for true blessings such as fruits, coconuts and flowers. Smashing coconut on the streets is likewise a part of tradition as individuals welcome the arrival of the chariot. The procession itself is a loud, vibrant and spiritually fulfilling occasion, and the distinctive view of various costumes that are being exhibited all throughout the occasion brings an added flare to the occasion.
Kavadi Attam (Burden Dance).
A significant part of showing their ultimate devotion and belief is through piercing their skin (tongue, cheeks, chest and back) with skewers, pins and hooks. Each is stated to have its own matching representation, many of which the followers are ready to go through as a type of thanksgiving to Lord Murugan. The kavadi bearers can be signed up with by their friends and family to support and guide them as they make their way to the temple and into completing their pledges. A simpler type of kavadi or problem is by carrying paal kudam or milk pot on their heads while they walk to the properties of the Batu Caves Shrine.
Journey to Batu Caves.
Before reaching the temple, enthusiasts and tourists have to climb up a total of 272 actions to get to the shrine. Some male fans also shave their heads and beards on the day of the festival as a sign of penance and sacrifice. This goes to reveal that Thaipusam Malaysia Festival has certainly captivated the attention of individuals from different parts of the world no matter what faith they are.