THE HINDU FESTIVAL OF THAIPUSAM

 

 

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Thaipusam is a Hindu festival happening each year between mid-January and mid-February, in Malaysia.

 

Photo 2The festival celebrated in honor of Lord Subramaniam (also known as Lord Murugan), who represents virtue, youth, power, and  the destroyer of evil generally last two days. In the evening the chariot procession start. In the early hours of the next morning the first batch of devotees carry milk pots (gifts showing abundance) and wooden kavadis decorated with flowers and peacock feathers. Some people offer to Lord Subramaniam oranges and yellow flowers, others who made a vow during the past year, redeem themselves by carrying ornamental structures (kavadi) attached to their bodies by hooks and steel spikes  penetrating their flesh. They can also coat their bodies with holy ashes, wear saffron robes, and may insert metal skewers through their cheeks and tongues.

 

 

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For devotees, Thaipusam requiers an entire month spent in spiritual preaparation and diet.

One of the most famous  Festival of Thaipusam takes place in Selangor Malaisia, at the Batu Caves where a massive 42.7-m statue of Lord Subramaniam was unveiled in 2006. Devotees climb a staircase of 272 stone stairs into the limestone to get to some caverns housing the shrines.

The festival was brought from southern India by 19th century immigrants. Today in Malaysia around 29 million of people are Muslim, but the country also has more than two million of ethnic Indians, most are descendants of labourers brought from ethnic Tamil areas of southern India by the British.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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