The Thaipusam in Penang is something special. If you ask me, Thaipusam is one of the most colourful festivals in Malaysia.
Malaysia, taking into account its multi racial cultural organization, has a range of cultural and religious festivals. For the Indian population Thaipusam (together considering Deepavali) is the most important festival in the year. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival, primarily a festival for the south Indians. Thaipusam celebrates the hours of daylight Goddess Parvati bestowed a propos her son the “vel” or lance to vanquish the evil demon, Soorapadam. This lance denotes spiritual perspicacity, accomplish a allocation to differentiate right from muddled, righteousness and steadfastness. However, Thaipusam has come to point of view of view toward the birthday of Lord Subramaniam, a.k.a. Lord Muruga, the younger son of Lord Shiva.
Hindus celebrate the Indian festival concerning the tenth month of Lunar directory (Thai) which is usually in in the middle of January 15 and February 15. Although it is primarily a south Indian festival, you will see large sum of north Indians, Punjabis, Chinese and even an occasional orang puti (westerners) fulfilling their vows. The festival is celebrated again several days but for those who will carry a Kavadi, the preparation begin weeks earlier as soon as prayers and a strict vegetarian diet.
The First Day
The prime hours of daylight of the Thaipusam will begin behind bringing Lord Murunga out of the temple in downtown Georgetown at sunrise. From here, Lord Muruga will travel to the Waterfall Temple, a journey of approximately 10 km that will assign every single one sum first hours of day of the festival.
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It’s a spectacular journey where to the lead of the chariot coconuts will be damage to cleans the streets. There are people dancing until they’harshly in trance. Food and drinks are available closely. All temples, Indian and Chinese will be door to pay honoring to the passing Lord Muruga. It’s worth before to come, at sunrise (the exact time is without help known to the highest priest in the temple) and character the heavens varying gone Lord Muruga comes out of the temple. The Thaipusam has officially started and everyone wants to be as close to the deity as attainable.
The second day
The second hours of hours of daylight starts to come for the believers. The begin for their own journey begins at sunrise in the Lorong Kulit Temple. If you come to the fore you will see devotees preparing to fulfill their vows. The whisk will be brought in trance and many will have their tongues and cheeks skewered bearing in mind long silver needles. Some will have their chest and back going on pieces considering metal hooks. One year I motto man subsequent to than coconuts hanging regarding the order of his chest. Others tug when hooks linked to their to come taking place a great statue of the deity.
Some will carry statues of the deity regarding their head. These statues can easily weight 30kg or more. You will see join together families fulfilling their vows, some carrying a baby to pray for pleasurable health, luck and fortune. On the mannerism from the Lorong Kulit Temple to the Waterfall Temple, all the temples in bank account to the pretension will be visited to pray. At many places you will see the believers dancing approaching speaking noisy music, despite the invincible weights some carry almost the heads.
For a non follower joined to me, even as I am writing this, it sounds scary. The final is, bearing in mind than you are in the festival place it is one glad relatives. The spirituality is restless in the flavor. I have visited the festival 3 time and all era it was a pleasure, a magic experience. From comprehensible I witnessed one of my friends son fulfilling the vow.
A friendly area to profit a tiny closer to the believers is the stairs that benefit to the Waterfall Temple. If you come before you may difficulty to go all the way going on but remote in the morning it can be too crowded and might bow to on viable 1 to 2 hours (even even though the climb going on is curt).
The stairs are a huge mitigation to view people. Young and pass believers, some carrying a lightweight kavadi, others carry a heavy advocate. But every one of portion the same happiness in doing consequently.
As I was told, completely depends upon the right preparation following the right mindset and holding upon to a strict vegetarian diet.
The first epoch I was at the Thaipusam festival in Penang, I was enormously knock out by the melody, the happiness and grip of people. I can without help publication, it was unlimited magic.
If there is one festival in Malaysia that deserves a visit, it’s Thaipusam. In Kuala Lumpur you may deem the largest scrap book of believers almost the Batu Caves, but it is in Penang where you can experience the Thaipusam the best.
For more photos, entertain visit: [http://www.pulau-pangkor.com/thaipusam-2009.html]
Peter van der Lans is a Dutchman who lives these days in Sitiawan Malaysia. After years of traveling, he cycled from Holland to Malaysia, stayed a months in the Middle East, a year upon the Indian Subcontinent and 2 years in China lead a year in the UK, he arranged himself in Malaysia.