Thaipusam is a festival celebrated by the Tamil Hindu devotees in Perak. The word Thaipusam is a combination of the name of the month which is Thai and the name of a star is Pusam. During the festival, Pusam is said to be at its highest point in the sky.
The festival commemorates the occasion when Parvati gave Lord Murugan a spear so to vanquish the demon during the battle between Devas and Asuras. It is commonly believed that Thaipusam also marks Lord Murugan's birthday. Lord Murugan is believed to be the embodiment of Shiva's light and wisdom. The devotees pray to him to ease their burden as he is the vanquisher of evil.
One of its famous ritual is Cavadee. Cavadee is the ceremonial sacrifice and offering performed by devotees to Lord Murugan. The Kavadi itself is literally a physical burden through which the devotees carry around in order to form a bond with Lord Murugan. The most basic cavadee is a semicircular decorated canopy supported by a wooden rod that is carried on the shoulders to the temple.
On the day of the festival, devotees also shave their heads and join in a pilgrimage along a set route, while engaging in various acts of devotion from carrying a milk pot to body parts piercing.
Image by: nasrul ekram
Where To Go?
Almost all Hindu temples in Perak celebrate Thaipusam. However, the most famous temple to experience the event is Sri Subramaniar Temple in Ipoh.
Thaipusam is celebrated at the full moon of the month named Thai in Indian calendar. So it doesn't have a fix date. But it always fall between late January and early February.
The temples never charge for the event. However donation is most welcomed.