Thaipusam: a jubilee of faith and gratitude

By | January 30, 2013

While many of us associate Thaipusam with crowds during temples and a grand steer of kavadi bearers, how many of us indeed know a stress of a occasion?

A advocate temperament a kavadi – a pitch of piety and devotion

Thaipusam comes from an amalgam of a difference “Thai” – referring to a Tamil month of Thai (January – February) – and Pusam – a brightest star during this period. Falling between 15 Jan and 15 Feb each year, Thaipusam is a jubilee of Lord Murugan’s feat over Soorapadman’s tyranny.

Soorapadman believed himself godlike given he can't be killed by anything other than a being that was a phenomenon of Lord Shiva, one of a many critical Hindu deities. Unluckily for him, Lord Murugan was one such being and he used his stalk or vel, that was given to him by Lord Shiva’s consort, Parvati, to better Soorapadman.

So it is that during Thaipusam, a people appreciate Lord Murugan for extenuation their wishes and defeating a “daily demons” that disease their lives, be it illnesses, career blocks or infertility. Believers not entirely appreciate him, they also ask redemption for trangressions made, as good as urge for blessings.

The rituals of Thaipusam entirely start most progressing before a large day itself. Some devotees quick for some-more than a month before a arise while others trim their heads as an act of gratitude, defence or as a touching defence to have prayers answered.

On a eve of Thaipusam, a picture of Lord Murugan is ecstatic from one church to another, accompanied and waited on by devotees temperament offerings to a deity. Milk, a pitch of virginity and virtue, as good as flowers and fruits are common Thaipusam offerings. Kavadis, literally “sacrifice during each step”, can be seen trustworthy to devotees around hooks and skinny spears that pierce their backs, cheeks and mouths.

This can be utterly a steer for onlookers who no doubt consternation how these kavadi bearers withstand a pain, though devotees will tell we that their romantic faith in their Lord Murugan’s insurance spares them from pain and prevents them from shedding blood. Bearing a kavadi is an act of friendship and humility.

Additionally, coconuts are crushed to weigh a violation of a ego and a presentation of a purer self.

In Batu Caves – one of a focal points of Thaipusam jubilee in Malaysia – a approach concomitant a china chariot temperament Lord Murugan’s idol, starts from Sri Mahamariamman, in a centre of Kuala Lumpur, to a temples of Batu Caves. The approach entirely starts before midnight on a eve of Thaipusam and is a 15 kilometre tour that can simply take 8 hours.

Devotees wait for hours usually to locate a glance of Lord Murugan on his chariot and extend their offerings while hundreds of thousands some-more join a approach to a temples. The series of people during Batu Caves during Thaipusam can operation from 700,000 right adult to 1.5 million. At Batu Caves, devotees steadily lift their offerings and kavadi bearers staunchly shoulder their burdens adult 272 stairs to a temple.

Celebrations also take place in other tools of a country. Other principal places of jubilee embody a Waterfall Temple in Penang and Kallumalai Temple in Ipoh, Perak.

A approach concomitant a chariot temperament a Hindu deity as it creates a approach to a church during Thaipusam

Thaipusam, to any who are propitious to declare a festivities, is both a clear jubilee of colours and a fascinating arrangement of faith. Yet, this is not a entirely Hindu festival that is value temperament declare to. Other holy days, critical to Hindu faith and culture, are usually as engaging and engrossing.

Deepavali, literally definition “rows of lamps”, for example, is a jubilee of light triumphing over dark. On this day in a Tamil month of Aippasi (October – November), one fable has it that a Lord Krishna degraded a demon aristocrat Naraka. Hindus applaud a arise by anointing themselves in oil and partaking in a protocol bath early in a morning on Deepavali day. Then new garments are ragged and prayers are performed. Deepavali is utterly presumably a best famous Hindu festival in Malaysia. Other festivals besides Thaipusam and Deepavali are:

Thai-ponggal

Celebrated for 4 days, commencement from a initial day of a Tamil month of Thai, Ponggal means a “boiling over” of rice and is a invocation to a elements that have contributed to a good collect – especially a object and a cattle. On this day, a cattle gets a well-deserved day of rest, a good rinse and their sheds likewise get a consummate cleaning. They are also flashy with garlands and fed with ponggal – sweet rice. The Sun God is thanked as good with both prayers and honeyed rice. But a thankfulness isn’t entirely singular to a Sun God and a cattle; on a third day of celebration, visits are done to family and friends, employers entirely benefaction gifts to their employees and singular women benefaction offerings to their home deities, praying for a estimable husband.

Sivarathiri

Taking place on a 13th night of a Tamil month of Masi (February – March), this is a festival of fasting and prayers. It is also famous as Shiva’s Night.

Panguni Utthiram

This festival falls on a same day as that of Lord Shiva’s kinship with Parvathi and a birth of Lord Murugan from sparks emanating from Lord Shiva’s eyes. Falling on a day of a full moon in a Tamil month of Panguni (March – April), a festival is distinguished most like Thaipusam in Murugan temples.

Tamil New Year

Here new year refers to a initial day of a Tamil month of Chittirai (April – May). It is on this day that a object enters a initial pointer of a Hindu zodiac – Aries. During a Tamil New Year (also famous as a Hindu New Year), a residence is entirely spotless and decorated. This includes a request room that will be ornate with bullion jewellery, rice, silk cloths and other enlightened objects. Those who take partial in a celebrations wear new clothes, eat a vegetarian dish and go to a church to perform prayers.

Navaratthiri

Literally definition “Nine Nights”, this festival is distinguished in a Tamil month of Puraddasi (September – October). The celebrations are in honour of a enchantress Shakti, who is a “Great Divine Mother” in Hindu belief. On this day, a kolu – a dais with 9 stairs – is filled with a images of Hindu deities and saints while a “Great Divine Mother” is invited to take her place on a kumpam – a beautifully decorated, water-filled pot that is lonesome with husked coconut as good as mango leaves and placed on banana root that also has rice on it. Offerings in a form of 9 forms of grains are placed during a kumpan as well.

 


Map: Batu Caves


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