The Thaipusam Tamil Hindu Festival is an introduction to the festival.
You may have seen photographs of Hindus pulling sleds linked to their bodies with hooks without fear of being stabbed in the face, but what exactly is Thaipusam? What did they think as they stabbed their bodies?
Thaipusam (sometimes written “Thaipoosam”) is a Hindu Tamil festival dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Hindu war god, and son of Shiva.
Some sects claim that Thaipusam commemorates Lord Murugan’s birthday, while others claim that the birthday falls in the month of Vaikhasi, in May or June.
In any event, Thaipusam honors Lord Murugan’s mother, Parvati, the Hindu goddess of love and fertility, giving him a vel (spear). “Welcome!” said the jubilant crowd. Then, in the procession, over the drums.
Lord Murugan is gifted with thanks and the gift of dedication to answering prayers during Thaipusam. Those who build mirrors aren’t the ones who stab their bodies or wear uncomfortable kavadis.
When does Thaipusam fall?
Thaipusam is celebrated on the full moon day of the Thai Tamil month (no relation to Thailand).
Because the holiday is dependent on lunar events, the dates vary from year to year; nonetheless, Thaipusam is always held in January or February.
January 27th, 2013
January 17th, 2014
February 3rd, 2015
January 24th, 2016
February 9th, 2017
January 31st, 2018
January 21st, 2019
When it Comes to Thaipusam, What Should You Expect?
Thousands of worshippers created massive, chaotic, noisy processions and marched from the temple to worship the area, filling the air with chanting and wailing.
Thaipusam is primarily known for a small group of believers who use swords, skewers, and hooks to pierce their faces and bodies. It used sharp skewers to tie a hefty art tomb known as a kavadis (burden) on the participants.
Some males are forced to assist since the gadgets are so large.
Afterward, kavadis were carried through the crowd before being released for prayers at the specified location. Other worshipers offered bits of milk to Lord Morgan as a sacrifice.
Worshipers who used sharp tools to pierce their mouths, cheeks, and faces did not bleed and experienced minimal discomfort! Many people claim that their wounds heal quickly and leave no scars.
Singing and drumming drove the believers into a condition of anguish before being penetrated. People assist in their care and escort them through the parade once they have been bewitched. The tongue is frequently pierced and fastened as a symbol of the volunteer’s communication ability.
Thaipusam, like other Hindu festivals, is a colorful and chaotic event. However, it is not as chaotic as Holi!
What is the location of the Thaipusam festival?
The Thaipusam festival can be seen without having to travel to India. The festival is held in India, primarily in the south, although more than a million worshippers visit Batu Caves outside Kuala Lumpur every year. Lord Murugan’s golden statue, which stands to the right of the cave, is 140 meters tall, making it his world’s highest picture.
Malaysia and Singapore host the most significant Thaipusam events in Southeast Asia. Penang is another convenient location to experience the Thaipusam holiday; relatively small.
Thaipusam is a national holiday in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Fiji. Even some Caribbean islands join in the fun! Festivals can be found wherever there is a sizable Tamil population.
Contact the Shiva Murugan Temple in Concord, California, for information on participating in Thaipusam in the United States. They held extended processions and distributed kavadis in exchange for donations.
Tip: If you want to see the Thaipusam event at Batu Caves in Malaysia, you should be there early. Start your day with the sunrise to avoid the heat of the day. During the day, trains to Batu Caves would be complete.
Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated in Thailand.
If you wish to attend the Thaipusam celebrations, plan ahead of time because transportation and accommodations in locations like Kuala Lumpur will be more crowded than usual.
“Hectic” is an understatement – brace yourself for melee!
Leave the road unless you’re participating in Thaipusam for reasons other than creating fascinating social media content. Don’t tamper with the enslaved person if you want a better picture. The last thing you need is to encounter a visitor compelled to use a selfie stick because you have hefty kavadi piercing your body in multiple places.
While Thaipusam may appear to be a raucous carnival spilled into the streets, it demonstrates reverence for the festival’s religious significance. It’s not a location where you should go or act disrespectfully. Do not point your finger at the terrified person stabbing. Volunteers were appreciated and honored for their dedication at the event, but they were not treated as remarkable people.
Thaipusam isn’t the only Asian event where pilgrims use swords and skewers to pierce their faces. Another area where people stab in a frenzy is the completely unrelated Phuket Vegetarian Festival in Thailand (part of the Nine Maharaja Dewa Festival).
When forcing individuals to assemble on the street, keep an eye on their belongings.
During Thaipusam, there is a ritual.
The participants wore the colors yellow and orange, which were vital to Lord Murugan.
As a presentation, milk pitchers are held on the head.
Two symbolic skewers pierce the tongue and cheeks to signify that the pilgrimage sacrifice is a gift of speech. Many members of these sects shave their heads and trek significant distances to attend.
Believers wear kavadis (burdens) around their necks that pierce or stab their bodies. Some pull sleds with hooks linked to their bodies.
Before wearing kavadi, a person must undergo a 48-day purification process, including celibacy, strict meals, and continual prayer.