PENANG HERITAGE CULTURE - THAIPUSAM




PENANG - THAIPUSAM CELEBRATION

Thaipusam is a Hindu religious celebration which falls on the full moon of the 10 month of the Indian calendar (usually around January of February month).  The festival is celebrated as a homage tribute to Lord Muruga god.  Every year devotees from Penang and as far as the mainland, will gather at the  Sri Mahamariamman temple to perform holy prayers to their gods. The temple is a heritage temple and magnificently sculptured with 38 Hindu deities.  It is located in Lebuh Queen, Georgetown.

 
thaipusam is a religious hindu celebration in penang

Devotees who had asked for favours from their gods during previous years Thaipusam celebration, would have to fulfil their vows by carrying 'kavadi'.  Today many Chinese people , who are Taoist, also observe Thaipusam celebration and the vow of carrying kavadi is slowly on the increase among the Chinese community as well.

 

The statue of Lord Muruga will be placed in a chariot, followed by the kavadi carriers and pious Hindu devotees and moved slowly from Sri Mahamariamman temple to the Balathandayuthapani Temple (also known as Waterfall Hill Temple) near the Botanical Gardens in Waterfall Road.

 
 

Size of the kavadi carried by devotees varies, probably they were by choices according to the vows made.  Some  the kavadi can be very heavy and huge in size and are supported by steel hooks hanging from the body.  Fat steel rods can also be seen piercing through the face region near the mouth of the kavadi carriers.  The capabilities of the kawadi carriers could be explained by their strong faith and commitments to their gods or, they may probably be in the state of trance through out the process.

 

Little India, a famous niche market run by the Indian community nearby Sri Mahamariamman temple will be full of activities and doing good business during the festival.  Many fresh whole coconuts are specially ordered and throw onto the road path as Lord Muruga and the chariot passes by.  Many temporary booths are set up by the roadside to provide refreshments for the devotees during the long journey. 

 

 

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